14 Things You Shouldn’t Do During Mercury Retroshade & Why

Ad failed to load

When you're in the midst of Mercury retrograde, it can pretty much seem like the worst thing ever. Your brain feels scrambled, everyone seems more accident prone than usual, and everything around you just feels, well, off. It's a handy excuse for things that go wrong, but I think I speak for all of us when I say the excuse just doesn't make up for the misery that Mercury retrograde brings. So, I'm happy to report that the Mercury's last retrograde of 2017 ended on Dec. 22 — but slightly less happy to report that the planet is in the beginning of a new phase that can wreak its own kind of havoc: The "shadow period," or Mercury retroshade, which is the extension of Mercury retrograde's effects for about two weeks as the planet turns direct again. In order to minimize drama and consequences, there are a few things you shouldn't do during Mercury retroshade, since it's going to mirror Mercury retrograde in a lot of ways.

Retroshade is definitely an upgrade from its predecessor, but it's still pretty dicey. The mental fogginess you've likely been experiencing since this retrograde began on Dec. 3 should lift quickly, but the vibes are still going to be pretty negative. If anything, it will just be easier than ever to fully understand the magnitude of those negative vibes as more things come to light. Generally speaking, I wouldn't react to any sudden revelations you have during retroshade (which should be finished around Jan. 10, 2018). As great as it feels to have clarity, the consequences of the decisions you make now will live on well past retroshade, so let's not go too crazy.

1. Don't Initiate Major Conversations

Ad failed to load

I guess there's something to be said for the fact that retroshade offers the right cosmic circumstances for you to gain clarity on the major life issues that you've been wrestling with throughout the retrograde period, but I don't think you should be actively pursuing confrontations or other tough talks until Mercury retroshade is over. Don't initiate gratuitous conversations. They might results in revelations that you're not ready for.

2. Don't Stalk An S.O. Or Friend On Social Media

Ad failed to load

If you're looking for problems, you very likely might find them during retroshade. Don't scroll through old photos or posts unless you're totally ready to address potential issues with someone you care about.

3. Don't Make Assumptions

Ad failed to load

After weeks of retrograde-induced mental cloudiness, it will be tempting to suddenly start making quick judgments... because you feel like you can! Just because you're feeling clearer, though, doesn't mean that assumptions are a great idea.

4. Don't Be Dismissive

Ad failed to load

You're suddenly trying to get clarity on things, and so is everyone else. The people around you might be a little extra sensitive as they bounce back from retrograde, so practice the golden rule and don't dismiss their feelings.

5. Don't Take Sides

Ad failed to load

Maybe you have newfound clarity about an ongoing conflict that's happening in your friend group or at the office, but you might want to take a beat before you officially declare your stance. Wait until retroshade is over in January to draw a line you won't be able to erase.

6. Don't Make A Big Style Change

Ad failed to load

Be sure you can actually commit to a major haircut or new tattoo before you go for it. Sleep on the idea for a few days first — and consider waiting until late January if you can.

7. Don't Date Someone You're Iffy About

Ad failed to load

Has something been nagging you about the person you started dating while Mercury was still in retrograde? If you still can't put your finger on what's off now that retrograde is over, it's safe to say it's time to walk away. I fully support definitive action during retroshade assuming the relationship is new and the stakes are low.

8. Don't Gossip

Ad failed to load

Retroshade is a time when it's extra difficult to let things go, so it's quite possibly the worst moment to talk you-know-what. Gossiping in this post-retrograde period is only going to build resentment and make it harder for you to set things right with people when all of this cosmic nonsense is over.

9. Don't Hold A Grudge

Ad failed to load

In the name of minimizing that aforementioned resentment, see if you can make any progress on those grudges you've been carrying around. Journal, meditate, or talk it out with a third party. It's a new year, anyway, so you might as well kick those bad vibes to the curb.

10. Don't Decide To Quit Your Job

Ad failed to load

You might suddenly find yourself feeling like saying "I'm out!" is the only way to deal with your frustrations at work, but I would wait it out. Quitting or applying to new jobs would be a bold move, so give yourself a little more time to make sure you're making the right call.

11. Don't Give Someone A Piece Of Your Mind

Ad failed to load

Just because you have fresh clarity about someone in your circle who's been driving you crazy doesn't mean that you won't regret giving them a verbal shakedown.

12. Don't Go On A Shopping Spree

Ad failed to load

Being decisive is great — until it makes you so confident on a shopping trip that you've suddenly bought everything. If you can, table shopping until after retroshade so you can protect your bank account.

13. Don't Redecorate

Ad failed to load

I wouldn't support you making any major changes to your style in the two weeks after Mercury comes out of retrograde — and the same goes for your home.

14. Don't Ask For A Raise Or Promotion

Ad failed to load

We all need the full retroshade period to regain the mental clarity we lost during retrograde. Give your boss the full two weeks to recover before you ask them for a well-deserved raise or promotion. This will ensure that they've had as much time as possible to realize how fantastic you are so they can make the right decision.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Everything Leaving & Coming To Netflix In March, So You Can Plan Your Next Marathon Now

Even though the groundhog saw his shadow — forecasting six more weeks of winter — a nice spring thaw is already on everyone's minds. Fortunately, Netflix has things squared away for March. Whether you're ready to cozy up in front of a fire or get you…
By Sophy Ziss

11 Thoughts That Mean You’re Not As Happy With Your Partner As You Might Think

Even if your current dating situation seems to be going well — you're hanging out, having fun, having sex, etc. — it's still possible that you might not be happy with your partner, and thus not truly happy in your relationship. This can be a gut feel…
By Carolyn Steber

25 Book Recommendations From Your Favorite TV Characters

Although the two may seem like natural enemies, the truth is, television and reading are a match made in bibliophile heaven. Not only are some of the best shows based on or inspired by literature, but whenever you turn on the tube you can be sure to …
By Sadie Trombetta

It Took Heather Graham YEARS To Make A Movie About Women Ditching Toxic Men. The Reason? Men.

They say you should write what you know. But in Hollywood, that age-old advice apparently needs an addendum: Write what you know — as long as men are into it. And for actor and newly minted director/screenwriter Heather Graham — a woman who swam thro…
By Kelsea Stahler

Bustle Editors On CPAC + 'Making A Murderer'

Adulthood is, essentially, just waiting until the weekend hits — which is why I know we're all glad it's finally Friday. Whether your plans are to catch up on all the Netflix content that'll be leaving the platform at the end of February, a weekend g…
By Danielle Colin-Thome

7 Signs Your Energy Is Closed Off To Love, According To A Psychic

Finding love requires more than just the actions of going on dates or setting up an online dating profile. It also requires opening yourself up to love and giving off the vibe that you're open. You may not even realize it if you're energetically bloc…
By Suzannah Weiss

Target Just Launched A Gorgeous New Home Brand — And Most Pieces Are Under $30

Design lovers rejoice! Everyone's favorite store for pretty much everything is about to make all your daring decorating dreams come true. Today, Target's corporate blog issued a press release that provides a peek into Target's new homeware line, Opal…
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

17 Brilliant Ways To Support Parkland Survivors Wherever You Are

Following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, survivors are demanding Congress take action. A large group of students who survived the shooting are opposing politicians' "thoughts and prayers," arguing that inst…
By Sarah Beauchamp

Here's Where Your Next Trip Should Be, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

If you've been craving a vacation, now is a good time to take the plunge. According to data collected by travel site Expedia, late winters and early spring are pretty much the best times of the year to go on vacation. Based on average airfare ticket …
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

How This Quadriplegic Beauty Lover Beat Cancer & Became A Professional Makeup Artist

In 2010, one day before she was supposed to start cosmetology school, Steph Aiello was involved in a car crash that left her paralyzed from the waist down with limited ability to move her hands and one of her closest friends dead. She would spend the…
By Sara Tan

7 Common Marriage Rules That Aren't Good For Relationships

When it comes to marriage, everyone loves to give their two cents, and with all the warnings and advice floating around out there, no wonder people find marriage intimidating. Luckily, you don't always have to play by the rules, and there's some bad …
By Carina Wolff

The Infuriating Way Hollywood Movie Sets Are Designed To Make Life Harder For Women

Whitney Cummings is fed up — with the way Hollywood treats women, and in particular, the way the it treats female directors who have children. While the entertainment industry may be working hard to get more women behind the camera, Cummings wants to…
By Casey Cipriani

Why Uggs Are Never Going Away, Whether You Like Them Or Not

Uggs. The word alone can conjure up memories of teenage years, regrettable outfits, and undeniable comfort. But if, like me, you thought that you've already said goodbye to those fleece-lined tan boots, you can think again. It seems fashion has adopt…
By Lauren Sharkey

Netflix's New Romantic Movie Will Have You Crying Like It's 'The Fault In Our Stars'

Cancer movies are a heartbreaking staple of Hollywood and have been for decades. It's almost a law of nature: new year, new cancer movie. This year, it's Netflix's Irreplaceable You, a heartbreaking original about a longtime couple who get thrown for…
By Olivia Truffaut-Wong

I Got A Breast Reduction & It Was About So Much More Than The Size Of My Boobs

As a young teenager, I pretty much reached peak physical maturity overnight. One day I was wearing my first training bra a la Lizzie McGuire, and the next I was sweatily fumbling around a Victoria’s Secret with 32DD boobs, trying to summon up the cou…
By Sierra Taylor Horton

Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu Have Matching Tattoos & The Story Is So Cute

Olympic season gives people the feels. From those shipping Canadian ice dancing pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to Shaun White's gold medal win on Tuesday, the feels are real. Now, there's another reason to get all up in your emotions. Adam Rippon a…
By Shea Simmons

A New Study Says Being In A Relationship Could Change Your Taste In Wine — Here's How

I’d be willing to bet that for many of you, a nice bottle of wine is awaiting you in your near future — and if you’re planning on sharing that bottle with a partner, there might be more to your choice than meets the eye: According to recent research,…
By Lucia Peters

Carrie Brownstein On Why Even The Obama Era Should Have Enraged You

An icy January morning soon after Hollywood's show of solidarity for the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes and almost exactly one year into the Trump Administration feels like a momentous time to be sitting across from Carrie Brownstein. The Sleat…
By Samantha Rollins

Here’s What The Upcoming Year Of The Dog Means For Your Chinese Zodiac Sign

On Feb. 16 the world will celebrate the Chinese New Year, welcoming the Year of the Dog in like the good doggo it is — we hope. A new year means new zodiac predictions for the 365 days ahead. So, what does the Year of the Dog mean for your Chinese zo…
By Brittany Bennett

7 Signs You're Ready To Get Into A Relationship, According To Experts

It can be difficult to tell when you're ready to start dating again. Maybe you're coming off of a bad breakup, maybe you've just been focused on other things. And, ironically, one of the signs that you're ready to be in a relationship is that you're …
By Lea Rose Emery

The 15 Best Fiction Books Of February Feature Tons Of Extraordinary Women

When the cold winds of February blow in, there's nothing I want more than to hide under my covers with a good book. Luckily, there's more than a few fantastic new fiction books coming out this month, so the only tough decision you'll have to make is …
By Melissa Ragsdale