After a bad psychedelic trip, things have a tendency to feel tainted… the memories and negative emotions seem to loom in the air, even months after the event. To start getting past this experience, it’s vitally important to go through a cleansing process for yourself and the space you tripped in (if it happens to be somewhere you spend a lot of time). What you do in order to cleanse is a very personal decision, but I’ve outlined the steps that helped me to renew myself below.
I recommend cleansing your space before you cleanse yourself so that, once you do, you will have a fully clean slate to relax into. Cleansing yourself should be the final part of the process, which you take the most time on.
How to cleanse your space after a bad trip
If you had a bad trip in your own home, it’s likely that the space now feels somewhat tainted by the trauma you experienced. In order to get back on track, here are a few tips for clearing out all that negativity that’s looming in the air.
- Remove any evidence of the trip, such as drug paraphernalia, food remnants that were eaten during the trip, etc. Return things to the way they were before. Depending on how the trip made you feel, you might consider removing any items that you were particularly attracted to during the trip or psychedelic decorations (tapestries, trippy posters, etc.) that directly remind you of it.
- If you have any crystals, plants, or other items that will hold energies, collect them into one place and cleanse them all. You may consider releasing these items and getting new ones that attract you based on your new mission of healing from this experience.
- Give your space a thorough cleaning. Open the windows to let fresh air in while you tidy up, dust, and throw out unwanted items. Make sure that this is a thorough cleaning which helps you reset and begin the process of renewing yourself.
- Once you’ve tidied up, do a cleansing ritual using sage, incense, or any other material that will help you actively cleanse. Involve your body and mind in this process.
- Finally, take a look around and think of some ways that you can rearrange the space. If you’re working with your bedroom, consider moving the bed to a new location. Any kind of rearranging will help you feel as though the space is refreshed and renewed, so if you’re unable to rearrange the furniture, move around your decorations, remove old ones, or add new ones. The goal should be to create a space that has a totally different energy.
How to cleanse yourself after a bad trip
During the bad trip, you introduced a lot of fear, confusion, and anxiety into your body. The first step to healing is to remove all of those negative emotions (or energies, if you prefer) from yourself so that you feel clean and ready to start fresh.
- Start by taking a look in the mirror and evaluating your physical appearance. If you’re fit, showered, and dressed nicely, you’re good to go. Chances are that you may have let things get a little out of balance, such as taking infrequent showers, letting your hair or beard become unkempt, and wearing yesterday’s clothes. The first step in all of this is to clean up and get back to feeling like your true self, especially if you’ve taken on a hippy style as a result of your use of psychedelics. Take a shower, thoroughly wash your whole body, shave, and put on clothes that make you feel like you. If applicable, set up a time to get your hair cut or trimmed. The goal here is not to turn yourself into an ultra clean-cut, square-looking person – it’s to get back to feeling comfortable in your skin and being yourself.
- Write down everything you can remember about your bad trip: what you took, how much you took, where you were, who you were with, what caused things to take a turn for the worse, how you were feeling, how long it lasted, what upset you the most, how things eventually ended, etc. The more you write, the more you will be able to release. This will help you get all of those emotions and memories out of your head while serving as the basis for a lot of other personal work you might do in order to process the experience.
- Write down lessons learned and new goals. Ultimately, bad trips happen to teach us difficult lessons. Try to think about your trip from these terms and write down a list of lessons you think it was trying to teach you – this will help you appreciate the experience rather than regretting it. Next, write down your goals for healing, getting past this experience, and becoming the person you truly want to be. Try to envision yourself as a beautiful, healed, joyous person, and describe exactly how you will to feel. You should keep this sheet of paper near your bed and read it right before going to sleep and as soon as you wake up.
- Remove any negative influences that are holding you back, such as relationships, friendships, jobs, and habits that you have realized are no longer good for you. If you’ve found that your job is really not the right place for you now, start looking for an alternative or developing a plan to leave. This is a time to take an inventory of your life and work on returning to a state of alignment with who you truly are at your core. If you are engaged in some activity, job, or habit that your heart tells you is not “you,” such as partying too much, doing the wrong type of work, talking to negative people, or smoking, let this be a time to have courage and move on.
- Do a ritual cleanse for yourself that is similar to what you did with your space. I find that using sage is really helpful in giving me the sense of renewal, and essential oils are good too. If you use an essential oil, pick one that you find calming and put a few drops on your wrists. With your hands together, visit each of your chakras and then bring your hands over your head, separating them as you bring them back over your shoulders. Spend as long as you need on this process in order to feel cleansed. If you happen to live near a beach, I would highly recommend getting in the ocean and fully submerging yourself in the saltwater. This is one of the most cleansing and balancing things you can do.
- Spend time giving yourself some TLC. Depending on your budget, you may go get a healing massage, but there are many other ways to care for yourself. You can take a bath with essential oils, flowers, salts, and relaxing music. You can get some fresh cut flowers and place them in your home, go for a long walk in nature, treat yourself to an enormous salad with all your favorite toppings, light candles, do your nails, or massage yourself with a fragrant lotion or oil.
- Stay away from any intoxicating substances for a while. Your brain has just been through an intensely traumatic experience, and one of the best things you can do is give it a break from LSD, DMT, mushrooms, weed, any other drugs, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, etc. at least until your brain chemistry normalizes. While everyone is different, I would recommend staying away from these substances for at least a year, especially psychedelics.
Use these processes as a guide for giving yourself a clean slate after a bad trip and elaborate on it to make it your own. This is one of the most important things you can do at the beginning of your healing process.