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  • Writer's pictureGrace Hamilton

Moving Out In Recovery *and just moving out in general*

It's a step in recovery that seems a mile away until it happens: moving out. You've gotten use to the idea that you don't have the independence you really want, so the sudden freedom can easily come with a whole heap of stress (and a rush of those previous dreaded thoughts). There are however, a few steps you can take to make the move easier for yourself and those supporting you. What are they? Let's make a list:

one: stick to your safe foods

We all know the 'V' in 'RAVES' stands for variety - because it's good to venture out while we heal our relationship with food. But before we go crazy on the adventure side of things it's important to set the groundwork on how you will manage getting through meals and snacks on a daily basis (now without someone else to double check). When the time comes to put together your first grocery list, start by sticking to things you know you can enjoy and will be able to handle in the first few weeks. For me personally, I included some of the following - which are still my favourite go-to foods when I might not feel the best...

- weetbix and bel vita for breakfast
- fruit and seaweed for snack time #1
- noodles, fresh sourdough and tinned veggies for a balanced lunch 
- milo and a choccy biscuit for snack time #2
- mince and dino pasta for a spag bowl dinner 
- mini croissants to have with a tea at night 

Once you've got the basics, add on with things the accompany the flavours. For example, you might like a teaspoon of honey on your weetbix or some tuna for the seaweed. Maybe you like the good old Aussie classic of fairy bread, so you'll need some sprinkles and butter. Perhaps you're even a bit of a spice connoisseur, so don't forget the ginger, cajun and allspice for your protein packed cook ups! It seems pretty daunting at first, but as long as you keep it simple, the groceries can be a breeze! If you do seem to have some doubts, that's totally fine! Ask a friend or family member who understands to give you a hand.

two. have an emergency plan in place for the 'hard days'

Let's not pretend everyday will be perfect. It is completely normal to still have bad days in recovery, no matter how far through you are. So, the best way to tackle these times is to have a plan in place for days where it seems more challenging on your own. What are some activities you love? Puzzles, drawing, painting, knitting, and even reading can help settle your thoughts. Identify a few people who you can call when in need for a chat. It might be your parents, a sibling, or a friend who's helped you in the past. Remember, seeking help is the strongest thing you can do!

P.S. My personal favourite pastimes are painting, scrapbooking, knitting, and writing.

three. develop a network

This one kind of ties into no.2. It's one thing to know who you can call when things go unexpected, but it's another to have a plan in place that prevents bad days from becoming regular. Don't let go of the support you have, just because you're 'leaving the nest.' It's crucial you still have check ins to keep you on track. I don't mean weekly GP visits or zoom therapy sessions (because that wouldn't be freedom). Instead, I'm talking about having a routine organised to keep your loved ones in the loop. That might be a simple text in the morning and evening to rate how you day was - let them know how you felt, because they will appreciate it. It could even be a Friday night call to update them on the weeks activities. Whatever it is, it's important to make the effort to connect with the people who helped you get to this point!

four. know where things are

No one said it's perfect. They'll be times you get bored or miss home, no matter how set you are. So, make the most of a new environment, and be familiar with what's nearby. Are you near the beach? If so, check out which stretches of water seem the most enjoyable. Maybe you're moving to the city, so have a look at the local shopping centres and what you might like to explore. With public transport expanding to motorised scooters, it might be time to bring out the inner-child and take one for a spin. There are endless ways to pass time, and they don't have to be expensive. There's parks, galleries, museums, beaches and much much more that don't require breaking the budget to have fun.

DAY TRIP IDEAS: that dont break the bank
Visit an art gallery 
Pretend you're renovating your house and need to shop for furniture 
People watch on the beach 
Find a dog park 
Visit a market street and support a small business 
Try a hire scooter or bike 
Learn the local bus stops 
Recite the street names around your place  

five. remember how you got here

This, in my opinion, is the most important step of all. Think back to the time when moving out seemed impossible. It was nothing but a dream. Now, think about how that changed. It had nothing to do with money, or finding the perfect place. It was because you worked hard to take care of yourself and prove how strong you really are. Now that you've gotten this far, don't lose sight of your determination. When you're going through a hard day, remind yourself how you got through ones in the past.



Of course, not everyone is in the same boat. So if you haven't experienced an Eating Disorder or aren't seeking help, there are things you can do to ensure your mental and physical wellbeing is well maintained during the change of scenery.

First off the bat, prioritise things you know you'll want and need. For example, if you enjoy getting creative in your free time, make sure you pack your favourite journals, art books, pens and everything in between. Remember, we want your new place to feel like home! If you're a born and raised chef in the family kitchen, don't forget to make a grocery list including all your best-rated dish ingredients so you can continue your cuisine experimentation. Perhaps you're more of the Saturday morning yoga type of person, and in that case, you'll need to pack your favourite fits and equipment. With this in mind, try and keep the luggage levels low - a fresh start means no clutter - so be sure to only pack what you know will be used!

Next up, it's important to be familiar with how much storage and cupboard space you have to work with. There's no point bringing an entire wardrobe of clothes if only a third can fit. In this case, it's time to be brutal. Think about what seasons you'll be gone for - are you renting short or long term? Will you be away for the cooler or warmer months? Depending on your answers, you'll need to organise which clothes are actually needed. Additionally, you'll need to keep your toiletries to just the essentials. I don't mean skipping out on the skin care (because that is essential in my opinion). I'm talking about taking one set of shampoo and conditioner, one hand soap, one body wash, one etc. No one needs three different exfoliating scrubs, especially when your drawer space is limited! Reminder - your parents aren't going to throw the rest of your belongings in the trash. They'll be there for you until you have more space!

Now, I don't want to sound like a nagging parent for this next one, but I promise you'd rather hear me out than deal with the consequences. KEEP IT CLEAN. Got some dishes piling up? Wash and dry them. Bathroom getting shabby? Put shit away. Bed not been made for a fortnight? Surprise, you might want to at least pat the cover smooth. I know you've probably heard this a million times already. But this place is now your responsibility. There won't be someone following up after you anymore, so if you want to live on your own, you've got to be prepared. The last thing we want is to have to deal with pests, smells, and damage when it comes time for an inspection. I'm not sure about you, but I'd rather spend 5 minutes washing some plates than worry about the creepy crawlies that thrive off a nasty kitchen.


Obviously I'm not the expert, but if you do have something to share, or have any questions about what to do to prepare, send me a message and I'll gladly help you out! Below are my contact details!

IG: gracelilianx
PHONE: 0447 223 099

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