Have you been feeling like nothing is going the way you need it to, no matter what? You can probably blame Mercury retrograde for that. For most of December, many of us have been dealing with the annoying effects of Mercury being in retrograde. While it does give us a good excuse as to why we're feeling a bit off (by now, everyone knows what it means), the end doesn't justify the means. Mercury retrograde is a pain, and I think I speak for everyone when I say we're over it. Unfortunately, the galaxy has another plan in mind: Welcome to Mercury retroshade everyone, a place where things aren't quite as bad as retrograde, but, well... they're not great. Yeah, you're gonna wanna know how to protect yourself against Mercury retroshade ASAP.
First, an explainer. Mercury retroshade refers to the two-week period that comes before and after retrograde — otherwise known as a "shadow period" that occurs when a planet goes direct again — and it promises to continue making your life tough for a little bit longer. Retrograde ends on Dec. 22, and retroshade will go on until about Jan. 10. During that time, you can expect more confusion, more communication issues, more tech mishaps, and more travel difficulties. Retroshade is a little more tame than retrograde, but it's still a cause for concern.
Like a retrograde, retroshade is also a time for reflection, when you'll want to look back on your past and try to learn from it. Yeah, that part doesn't sound so bad, and is probably the biggest advantage of this two-week period of time. Still, you'll need to watch out — retroshade can sneak up on you, and it's the last thing you need during the holidays and while you're getting ready for a new year. To ensure things run as smoothly as possible, you have to start preparing now. Here's how to protect yourself during Mercury retroshade, because everyone deserves a fresh start this January.
1. Expect The Worst
During Mercury retrograde, we're told to expect the worst and make backup plans on backup plans. Bring this way of thinking into preparing for a retroshade. There are still many opportunities for all kinds of mishaps, so your best bet is to expect them. Have backup plans for your backup plans. Making dinner reservations for New Year's Day? You might want to have another reservation on deck in case something happens — and a takeout option just in case. Using your GPS on a long trip? Print out directions, as well as alternate routes. You never know!
2. Explain Yourself Thoroughly
Communication gets wonky during both a retrograde and a retroshade. You might find an abundance of misunderstandings that lead to arguments between you and your loved ones. There's no time for this during the holidays! Try to avoid the confusion by explaining yourself thoroughly in every conversation. Don't assume everyone will understand what you're trying to say, and try not to get annoyed with others.
3. Wait On Your Travel Plans
Thinking of going away for a last-minute trip for New Year's Eve? This might not be the best time. Want to use some holiday money to plan a trip next week? You're better off waiting. Traveling is not your friend during retroshade. Wait until it's over (after Jan. 11) to go anywhere and book anything. You'll thank yourself later!
4. Back Up All Your Important Info
Retroshade, like a retrograde, can negatively affect technology in all sorts of ways. You might not be able to do much about cell phones or laptops breaking or acting weird, but you can ensure your important information is safe by backing it up. Save extra copies, print things out, and use flash drives (multiple ones!) to keep yourself protected.
5. Keep Extra Batteries On Hand
Speaking of tech issues, you might find that your devices seem to be running out of steam quite quickly. Instead of finding yourself without power in an important situation, keep backup batteries on hand, or at least have portable power banks so you can charge your devices.
6. Give Yourself Time To Reflect
One advantage of retroshade is that it's a good time for reflection. This is the best time to look back on your past and learn from your mistakes. That might not sound super appealing, but doing it will really allow you to improve upon yourself in the new year. Put aside some time to really think, on your own, no distractions. Write down what you're learning, and use those lessons to make goals for 2018. Look at you go, making retroshade something productive instead of negative!
7. Try To Let Go Of The Past
Too much reflection does have its downsides, though, and one of them is that it can make you feel angry about things that have happened in the past. It's really important to use this time to let go of those things rather than hold onto them. If you feel like you can't do this one your own, talk to someone you trust, like a family member, friend, or maybe even a therapist. This is a good time to learn to let go.
8. Don't Venture Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Want to try something new, risky, and daring? Well, uh, now isn't the best time. During retrograde, we're all reminded not to make any big decisions or changes — and that goes for retroshade as well. You're better off staying in your comfort zones, nice and cozy with the things you're familiar with. If you're dying to do something new, plan it out to try after retroshade is over. Use this time to hang with old friends, bask in holiday traditions, and relax a little.
9. Meditate Once A Day
Retroshade can bring about confusion, anxiety, and stress, and mix that with standard holiday stress, and, well... it's messy. Try to fight this by doing your best to stay calm and zen. Meditate once a day, or just set aside a few moments a few times a day for peace and quiet, no distractions. Do whatever makes you feel calm, whether it's taking a walk, going to a yoga class, or cuddling with your pet.
10. Think Before You Speak
If there was ever a time to be extra careful about what you say, this is it. Retroshade makes communication tough, and you might find yourself saying something you wish you hadn't uttered out loud. Instead of speaking up quickly, give yourself time to really think about the words that are about to come out of your mouth. It's worth the extra few minutes!