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Hi there, thanks for joining me. This podcast is all about sharing positive advice and wisdom for daily life in recovery. In this episode, I’m going to share 7 helpful tips for moving on after you complete a sober living program.

A sober living home is a safe and protective haven after rehab and the transition back home can sometimes be difficult, especially if you lack a strong recovery support system. Whether you’re moving back home with family or you’re relocating to a new place for a fresh start, here are a few helpful tips to help you move on after completing a sober living program.

1. Continue building your support system.

You can never have too much support in sobriety and moving out of your sober living home is a risky time to isolate yourself from others. Moving on after sober living can be lonely and scary, so it’s essential that you have support from your family members, sober peers, and mentors. After leaving your sober living home, it’s a good idea to continue meeting with your sponsor regularly, attend local recovery meetings, stay in touch with your sober peers, and make time for sober socializing. As you branch out and start living more independently, you will need to rely on your support system to stay grounded and firm in your decision to remain sober, especially when you are faced with challenges or difficult life circumstances.

2. Practice budgeting while you’re still at your sober living home.

Although living at a sober home isn’t free, moving out comes with a different set of financial responsibilities. Not only will you need to pay your own bills and utilities, but you will also need to be able to manage a budget that will allow you to live well within your financial means. Money problems can be very stressful and reducing stress and anxiety is one of the best ways to prevent relapse. Learning how to save money and budget while you’re still living at a sober home is great practice for the real thing. Ideally, your finances will be in order by the time you move out, you’ll have maintained a stable job for a few months, and you’ll feel confident in your ability to manage your budget and pay off any debts while also saving for future expenses and emergencies.

3. Set goals for yourself.

After you move out of your sober living home, take the time to set some personal goals. This will give you purpose, something to strive for, and a reason to get up in the morning and do your best work each and every day. If you want help setting some goals for yourself, ask your sponsor or sober house manager for input. They may be able to help you set realistic short-term and long-term goals for yourself that you can expand upon in the future.

4. Find recovery meetings that work for you.

Attending recovery support meetings while enrolled in a sober living program is easy because it’s often required and you always have a sober friend to go with. However, after you move out of your sober living home, it may become more difficult. You may have to attend some meetings alone, your recovery coach won’t be checking in with you regularly, and you’ll have to work around other responsibilities and commitments at home. To prepare for these changes, you may want to locate meetings that are close to your new home and that will mesh with your work schedule, school schedule, volunteer schedule, and any other responsibilities you may have at home. Although it can be tempting to put recovery meetings on the backburner, it’s important to make them a priority and attend one or several meetings each week.

5. Continue your structured routine.

Sticking to a structured routine is a part of residency at a sober living home. However, once you start living on your own, it’s up to you to maintain a routine that is beneficial for your sobriety as well as your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. After you move out, your routine may look a bit different than it did while you were in sober living, and that’s okay. What matters most is that you maintain a sense of structure and balance in your life. This will empower you to stay sober, reduce stress and anxiety, and live joyfully and purposefully in a life of recovery.

6. Opt out of events and situations that could trigger a relapse.

People in early recovery often experience what is known as the “pink cloud,” where they feel invincible and unaffected by the challenges and struggles of everyday life. Once the pink cloud fades and you begin to experience some of the struggles of daily life in recovery, you may find yourself feeling susceptible to certain triggers or situations that make you want to use again. One of the many benefits of enrolling in a sober living program is having a protective umbrella as you ease back into independent daily life, identify your triggers and practice the life skills that will empower you to stay sober and prevent relapse. Once you move out of your sober living home and are no longer under that protective umbrella, you may need to avoid certain situations or events for a time until you feel more confident in your ability to stay sober.

7. Volunteer in your community.

As you transition into a life of independent sobriety, getting involved in your community as a volunteer can help draw your attention away from your own struggles instead of becoming overwhelmed by them. It also just feels great to volunteer regularly and help other people, which can improve your mood and help you cope with feelings of loneliness, depression, or anxiety.

Moving out of your sober living home is a big step in your sobriety journey and it’s important to prepare for it. Most sober living homes provide assistance with this, so you may also want to check with your house manager or sober coach for more details.

Thanks for listening to the Sober Now podcast. If you have questions, comments, or want to suggest a topic for our next episode, email me at kelsey.brown@novarecoverycenter.com.

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