How to have a great trip (at home)

What’s up, homebodies!

It’s official, the hot thing to do these days is stay in! As I mentioned before, it is likely that many people, unable to explore the outside world, might choose this time to take a more inward journey. It is my goal to contribute what I have had the opportunity to safely learn about successfully preparing for a trip in the hopes that it will help guide those interested in following the safest practices for the best and most constructive experience possible. We have all heard that set and setting are important, but I want to get specific with you to be of the best assistance. I believe, and studies have proven, that properly-planned psychedelic experiences can have long-lasting positive impacts on our lives. It is important to me to share the tools I have learned for those who may need it.

First I have to hit you with a disclaimer: This information is being presented for harm reduction purposes only. I in no way encourage anyone to do drugs or anything illegal. This article is intended to provide safety information to assist those interested in consuming psychedelics in a safe and legal setting.

The first thing you need to ask yourself is, what is the reason you want to take this trip? Sure, it could just be to have fun or see pretty colors – I won’t judge you! But having a psychedelic experience is often felt as much as seen. It’s a good idea to have in mind something you would like to gain clarity or a fresh perspective on to get the most out of that experience. Whether you want to reflect on your life, tap into your creativity, solve a problem, or do some emotional healing, having the ability to think with a more interconnected brain could likely help you make mental progress that could end up benefiting you in life. Sometimes it is helpful to jot down a question somewhere you will see it, as you may pleasantly surprise yourself with the answers you discover. Having a general direction to point your thoughts in can help you make the most of your heightened awareness.

Before you decide to trip, you also need to consider your shadow for a second. If you are scared to trip because there is something you are afraid you’ll think about, it’s probably not a good idea to trip. In order to open up the Pandora’s box that is your mind, you need to agree with yourself beforehand that you are okay with whatever comes out of there. If you have been in a bad mood recently, or if you are not ready to face your demons, please spare yourself an unpleasant experience and do some inner work until that changes. You won’t always be able to control what pops into your mind in an altered state, so it is best to make sure you are completely ready to calmly face whatever does come up. I used to be afraid of thinking of spiders, and of course I was so preoccupied with not wanting to visualize them that they were one of the first things that came to mind. However, I breathed through the experience and realized that my fear around the subject was greater than the threat itself, and went on to think about unicorns. If you know you can look your demons in the face and breathe, you’ll be able to work through them. But if you think you’ll freak out, that’s when you will, so do some work thinking this through beforehand so that you can encounter and work through your issues when you’re ready.

This is the agreement you have to have with yourself before you trip: You have to be confident and comfortable with your choice to do what you are doing, and trust that you will be okay, and you have to be okay with whatever you end up feeling. You have to say to yourself, I’m okay with however I might feel, I know it will only be temporary. This is probably my most important piece of advice I can give you. Once you accept this, you can let go. If you fight how you’re feeling with fearful resistance, you won’t have a good time. But if you allow the experience to be what it is, it will always be okay.

Which brings me to, what is it that you are taking? (Please be safe!) Although my guidance here could apply to any psychedelic, because psilocybin mushrooms are becoming increasingly decriminalized, let’s assume that’s what we are talking about. Please make sure that whatever you are taking came from a trusted source and that it is what you think it is. Also consider your dose. Especially if you are new to something, take a low dose so you can understand how it affects you. The classic wisdom of “you can always take more, but you can’t take less” has been around a long time for a reason. Still, keep in mind that psychedelics often can take an hour or two (and in some cases, even longer) to kick in, so I would recommend committing to your initial dose. There is a lot of value to be found in taking a lower dose (a microdose, even!), and it is always intelligent to err on the side of caution. If you know in your heart that what you have is safe, it will be easier to let go and trust your experience.

If you are new to whatever it is you are trying, or unsure of how it might affect you, I recommend you have someone responsible with you who you trust and who can help you if you need reassurance. My preference is usually to be alone, but I know that I am the type of person who just sits or lies down if I’m feeling intense. I know I am chill no matter what and even if I feel like I’m losing my chill a little bit, I can help myself get it back easily. Know yourself!

To help prepare your mind and body for your experience, pay attention to what you consume that day. I recommend having something that is light, healthy, and plant-based a few hours before, so that you feel comfortable. (I usually have fruit and nondairy yogurt.) Pay attention to the media you consume as well, as it can influence what comes up in your mind! I would stay away from anything dark or negative and focus on things that are beautiful and inspiring. (Save the news and horror movies for another day.)

Lastly, I ask you to consider your space. Is it comfortable? Do you have a place you can comfortably lie down? A soft blanket to wrap around yourself? Easy access to water? Mood lighting? What is your proximity to plants? (Even being close to a houseplant can help give you the chill nature vibes that you may suddenly start to crave.) Do you have a playlist prepared, or a soothing Hz frequency to put on in the background? (Having this figured out beforehand will make your life much easier.)

When it’s time to do the damn thing, put on the sounds you want and do your best to relax. I like to spend the first hour or so doing gentle yoga, so I can calmly expand my body while my mind expands too. Don’t feel like you have to do anything; as you’ll likely soon realize, being is more than enough.

Have a safe trip, stay home, be safe, and use your brain!

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