If you’ve noticed things have been a little off for the past week, you can blame the stars. Mercury went retrograde on December 3rd, and will hang out there, continuing to make our lives complicated, until the 22nd.
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For those who need an astrology refresher, Mercury Retrograde is a three-week cycle in which the energies associated with the planet Mercury, mainly our communication and mind, create an atmosphere that can range from slow and heavy to dark and dramatic. Basically Mercury Retrograde is the solar system PMS-ing.
Thankfully, this is Mercury Retrograde’s last appearance in 2017. However, to make the most of it — and not make it any worse than it needs to be — we’ve put together this list of tips on how to deal with this finicky planetary position.
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Take Things Less Personally
Communication takes the hardest hit during Mercury Retrograde. From confusing text messages to squabbles over the smallest things, don’t be surprised if you’re constantly irritated and irritable.
This is why it’s important to try your best not to jump to conclusions or take anything personal during this time. Give the people around you — bae, bestie, your mom — the benefit of the doubt, and attempt to see things from their perspective. Skip the argument, and try to find some peace now instead.
Think Before You Speak
Before speaking out, tweeting, or hitting send on that hasty text or email message, take a moment to consider if you’re being clear and compassionate with your thoughts.
Remember: People are extra sensitive around this time, which means anything you put out there can easily be misinterpreted. Ask yourself, “Do I really need to say this? If so, is this the best way I can communicate my thoughts?”
Don’t Sign on the Dotted Line
It’s generally not a good idea to sign any important documents during Mercury Retrograde, including job offers or rental agreements.
Often things don’t appear as they truly are, which means your new job might not actually be a good fit for you. Likewise, your new apartment might end up being more of a dump than a dream home. Ask your potential employer/landlord if you can wait an extra week or two to make your final decision.
Avoid Traveling As Much as You Can
Okay, so maybe you can’t avoid going to your internship or visiting your parents for the holidays. But you should be aware that there will be major delays and hold-ups wherever you go.
So when the bus is really, really late, take a breath and listen to a meditation app. Instead of lashing out at the flight attendant when your plane is delayed, realize that he’s dealing with Mercury Retrograde, too. You’ll get there, eventually.
Get Some Closure
“Retro” means the past or reviving something from the past, so it’s no surprise that during this time we are being asked to bring closure to anything, or anyone, that no longer belongs in our present.
It’s time to let go of past patterns and thoughts that are preventing us from moving forward. And seeing as this is the last Mercury Retrograde of the year, it’s also the perfect time to release all of your baggage from 2017, so you can begin 2018 with a truly fresh start.
Mercury Retrograde might be ripe for funny memes, but it can also be a really exciting time of inner reflection and healing. Take the time to be gentle with yourself and those around you, and enjoy taking things slowly for the next few weeks. You can’t fight Mercury Retrograde, so you might as well flow with it.