Starting June 7 (and lasting until July 2), the planet Mercury went retrograde, causing our lives to go haywire. Mercury Retrograde happens several times each year, but somehow, it never gets any easier to cope with. Mercury is thought to rule communication, transportation and deep thoughts, which skews all these things off-balance when retrograde begins.
Mercury retrograde often inspires people to get themselves into grand predicaments or make rash decisions they later regret. Life feels dreamlike and hazy, emotions are running high, and trains and planes are delayed. It’s almost as if life is moving in slow motion and takes extra effort. People you usually communicate with perfectly suddenly misunderstand your intentions. During this time, our subconscious thoughts come to the surface and rule our minds more than our more logical sides.
I’d be content to hide at home in a body mitten until Mercury is back on track, but life can’t stay at a total standstill until July 2. Even if you don’t believe in astrology, enough people do and are acting wonky because of it that you’ll be impacted by the planetary hoopla either way. Here are some ways to survive Mercury retrograde in the meantime (and in October when it happens again!):
1. Go with the flow. Mercury retrograde is a great test of our egos and practice in recognizing the fact that sometimes we have to learn to bend a little. Life is going to be weird right now. The best thing to do is stay flexible and remain open to curveballs so they can be handled as quickly as possible when they do show up.
2. Travel as little as possible. Sometimes you simply have to get somewhere, but try to put off any travel you can. Any and all types of transportation are off their game, so give yourself plenty of extra time for delays when you head out for a trip or even your commute to work.
3. Know that it’s only temporary. These confusing thoughts and stormy vibes are all going to be over before we know it. Think twice before giving extra energy to any unusually negative feelings you have right now — they’ll all be over soon. Your emotional self-talk might seem louder during this time, but know that it will pass.
4. Avoid making big decisions. Some people make major decisions during Mercury retrograde without considering all the facts of the situation. It’s almost like the hazy state of this period puts blinders in our brains and we can forget obvious factors of our choices. If you can help it, don’t sign any contracts or do anything impulsive during this time. Review your options without making a final choice, and when Mercury retrograde is over, you’ll likely see the bigger picture of your decisions in a way you hadn’t before.
5. Be aware. Because our subconscious minds have such control during this period, reality is going to look a bit different, and you may feel a bit worse about yourself. Awareness will help you determine the difference between which thoughts are actually your own and which are just, well, Mercury. If negative thoughts are running through your head on a loop unprompted, it’s probably Mercury.
6. Let it humble you! If we want to get through retrograde in one piece, we’re forced to surrender our need to control life’s little off-kilter predicaments. Accepting that some things are simply beyond our reach, and that our only choice is to let retrograde pass, can actually be comforting.
7. Use your feelings in your favor. This time can be used to your advantage in a major way. When your subconscious thoughts come to the surface and try to rule your choices, you can get a better look at what really motivates you in the back of your mind. You can identify ancient thought patterns that aren’t doing you any good, and find ways to better deconstruct them when retrograde is over. Retrograde is the perfect time to take stock of your long-held emotional beliefs and find their roots, because your feelings are rarely as intense as they are right now.
8. Don’t make it personal. These murky thoughts and intensified feelings are not a reflection of you. They’re not an extension of your personality, they’re part of the intense energy surrounding these few weeks. Don’t compound the stress by blaming it on yourself.
9. Take notes. Things feel pretty surreal during this time, so try to write down your observations for future reference. When this period ends, compare your more “logical” feelings to the ones you felt during retrograde. You may notice patterns in your life you’ve never picked up on before!
10. Use it as an excuse. Miss the train? Blame it on Mercury. Oversleep? You can blame that one on Mercury too. If we have to endure such insanity at the hands of a planet, we can at least use it as a scapegoat, right?
11. Be open to awesomeness. According to The Older Farmer’s Almanac, “Intuition is high during these periods, and coincidences can be extraordinary.” Enough said. Be prepared for something unexpectedly amazing to make its way into your life.
12. Don’t stop living. It’s important to be extra cautious, but we can’t all hide under a rock until this comes to an end! Life is happening now, so even as you slog through Mercury retrograde, be sure to enjoy the ride.
[Image of Mercury via Shutterstock]