Here’s how to battle Mercury retrograde during the holiday season (because yes, it’s back)

We know, we know. You’re probably sitting there yelling, “Are you kidding me? I thought Mercury retrograde just ended. Now it’s starting again? What gives?!” We hear you, and believe us when we say that we’re not happy about it either. This retrograde, in particular, is a whopper because of its “oh-so-convenient” occurrence during the holiday season (December 19th to 31st) — the most stressful time of the year as is.

So will the retrograde throw a wrench into our holiday plans? Perhaps. But if we prepare for that wrench, the blows of retrograde will be less drastic and the holidays will be much more enjoyable. Now, here’s our game plan…

Allow more time for traveling.

Even though Mercury isn’t actually moving backwards during retrograde, the optical illusion causes mishap in travel and communication — the two main traits of their ruling planet, Mercury.

And with this being the season of sending well wishes and coming home for the holidays, we might encounter difficulty in doing both. Pencil in time for travel delays if you’re planning on flying, driving, or even walking, to visit family this year. If you already expect something to go awry — your flight gets delayed, you run into major traffic, you trip on your own shoelace and throw yourself into a snowbank, etc. — then you’ll be much less annoyed, less surprised, and less late for family dinner.

Stay as calm as possible around the fam.

Remember, communication is negatively affected during Mercury retrograde. So do your best to avoid confrontation and arguments while spending time with your family.

Perhaps the whole extended family convenes at grandma and grandpa’s for a week during the holidays. Or maybe you all just get together for an afternoon. In either case, do your best to keep tensions low and holiday spirit high. The retrograde causes static in all forms of communication, so watch what you say and to whom you say it. And be extra aware of group conversation after such a harrowing election — just saying!

Get your shopping done early.

Let’s be honest with ourselves — holiday shopping is a fiasco. Shoppers crash their carts into one another. They fight over toys. They get into fender-benders in parking lots. Don’t make holiday shopping even more problematic by waiting until deep into the retrograde to get the bulk of your shopping done.

Waiting until the last minute to get your family meaningful gifts is a bad idea anyway. Take the occurrence of the retrograde as a kick in the pants to get ish done before you have to claw your way through a Target on Christmas Eve. Save yourselves, people.

Take time for yourself after taking care of others.

You’ve done all your shopping and wrapping, so now it’s time to take a deep breath and destress. The holidays are a time to think of others, and we oftentimes forget to think about ourselves and our own sanity.

Keeping yourself calm, cool, and collected will greatly enhance your ability to deal with retrograde-related stress. We can’t be expected to deal with a frazzled brain, now can we? Run a bubble bath, light some candles, read your favorite book, or eat a tub of ice cream. Do something to take care of yourself so you can better take care of others.

Celebrate the New Year like you’ve just won the Super Bowl.

The retrograde officially ends on December 31st, AKA New Year’s Eve. So not only are we celebrating 2016 (arguably the roughest year in modern history) being over, but we’re also celebrating the end of this somewhat debilitating cosmic event.

Come midnight, when the Times Square ball drops and we are free to start fresh, we are all going to feel like a million bucks. Yes, yes, retroshade — the two weeks before and after the retrograde period — is still totally a thing, but don’t let its affects get to you. This is our chance to shake off every bit of negativity from 2016 and start anew! Grab some champagne and toast to making it through the wilderness!

Keep these tips in mind to make this holiday season “the most wonderful time of the year,” even when in the throngs of Mercury retrograde. Stay easy-going, relaxed, and flexible, and you’ll be able to get loads of joy out of your retrograde-affected holidays.

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