mercury retrograde survival guide
It’s that time again, Flufers, the dreaded Mercury Retrograde. For most of us, retrogrades can be a tumultuous time. As soon as we hear of their approach, anxious energy starts building around all the things that could go wrong. Our phones are breaking, our emails won’t go through and miscommunication leads to scuffles with friends and loved ones. It seems to be the time when everything that could go wrong does go wrong. Life can start to feel more out of control than usual, especially in today’s highly tech driven world. We usually have about three to four Mercury retrogrades a year and the first one of 2019 will run March 5–28.
Mercury, named for the messenger of the gods, rules all things communication. It reigns over our day-to-day interactions and coordination. It deals with how we set up plans and see them through, how we convey and process information. When Mercury retrogrades, it appears to be moving backwards in the sky, making the usual ways we deal with information seem somewhat out of reach. So while our communication ruler is moving backwards, so too can our communication styles. We may find ourselves re-handling situations with people from our past or noticing patterns we thought we had released creeping back into our headspace. But Mercury retrogrades can be some of the best times for distinguished observation—of ourselves, our relationships, and our reactions.
Anytime we’re dealing with a retrograde planet is a great time to focus our energies on all the “re’s” of whatever that planet governs. We take the “re” in “re-trograde” and RE-asses, RE-cognize, and RE-align. When we get cozy with all the things we can redo, we’ll find Mercury retrograde is actually nothing to fear at all! Ahead: four tips for making this your best Mercury retrograde yet!
Make a Date with Your Calendar
If you don’t currently have a calendar you use, now’s the time to commit to one. Whether it’s on your phone, computer, or a physical planner you write in, having a way to organize the happenings of your life will keep you grounded and keep you from missing appointments or assignments. Putting aside time weekly (or daily!) to check in with what you have planned can give a real sense of control during a time it can easily be stripped away. I look at my calendar every day, even when we’re not in a retrograde period (but I check it twice if we are!), if I don’t write it down and see the visual reminder, I’m likely to miss things completely. Getting a bird’s eye view of my timeline for something helps me see it through to completion and keeps me on track so I’m not overloaded trying to catch up on a bunch of tasks at once.
Some days will simply require certain tasks to be completed. I think it’s nice to get those things that have to be done out of the way as soon as you can. This is so much easier said than done though—Mercury retrograde can be one of the best times for re-evaluating your priorities. What do you truly make time for in a day? Is there any time left for just you at the end of it? If there are certain repeated chores that you absolutely dread doing and constantly put off, ask yourself why. You won’t always cross everything off of your to-do list, and that’s okay. Combining what needs to be done with what you want to accomplish and including room for self-care can be a lot to juggle, but you are in charge of your priorities, so use this time to get really clear about what they are.
If not a single thing goes to plan during the entirety of Mercury retrograde, just know that it’s okay. Mercury retrograde is the ideal time to become a master observer. Often the worst of days in a retrograde come from when we’re trying to fast forward but we really need to push the pause button. Tiny frustrating instances—dropping your coffee, your GPS taking you a weird route that makes you late, a passive aggressive email from a co-worker—start to stack up and snowball into a terrible day. But if you can catch yourself in the moment before you end up wine-drunk, texting your mom about how unfair life is, you can analyze what about that moment was upsetting and if it really ruins the day. Shit just happens, and it happens when Mercury’s not in retrograde too. So observe what your piece in it is and identify ways you can take responsibility when it seems you have none. Maybe you didn’t need to stop for that coffee. Feel free to stick to the familiar route. Your co-worker might just be mirroring bad energy that’s floating around. Observe the things that are especially triggering for you and take a deep breath. Feel free to walk away from situations. This can be a great time for re-defining your boundaries.
All of the above tips come with this one at the heart of them. This world is so fast-paced and we are all doing our best not just to keep up, but to get ahead, to thrive, and honestly that is really truly admirable. But you’ve gotta have enough to fill your own cup and you’ve got to determine what filling your cup means to you. Retrogrades can be rich moments for acknowledging what’s worth your time, who is worth your time and where your time is most productively spent. And I don’t mean productive like checking things off your to-do list. I mean productive in that it allows your mind and body to be at peace, so when you do step into action, you’re coming at it from the most aligned place you can be. Recovery is crucial to high performance. Taking moments for yourself to start the day or end the day with you alone can re-establish and remind you of what matters most to you.
Retrogrades can be so enlightening if we’re open to letting them teach us. When it gets especially sticky, remind yourself, it’s only temporary. This retrograde ends March 28! We are in this retrograde business together, so don’t be afraid to reach out to friends because they’re likely in the same spot you are. Avoid signing contracts if you can, but if you do have to, read them at least a few times over and then send it to your most trusted proofreading pal and have them give it a glance too! Be clearer than crystal, especially during disagreements if you can help it, and most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself. There can still be major sunshine moments during a retrograde so don’t let the fog of it get you down. We’re still in a Pisces dream state, and this Mercury retrograde occurring in Pisces gives us extra permission to keep it in our heads until we’re really sure of putting things out into the world. All of us Flufers are here for you! During retrograde and direct times. Keep me posted on how your retrograde is going. I’ll be checking in with you all soon!