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Credit: FOX

Mercury retrograde is kicking into high gear come December 19th and is planning on hanging out until the 31st. In other words: Your holiday season is about to become ~ a bit ~ more stressful than it already is. "What can we do to stop it?" you ask. "Can we somehow throw a big rock at Mercury and knock it off its retrograde path, hence returning it back to regular orbit?"

"Absolutely not," we respond. Besides, we all know by now that Mercury retrograde is actually just an illusion, silly. And even though we can't physically reverse the retrograde, there are a few things you can do to stop retrograde from completely ruining your life.

Allot yourself extra time to do everything you need to do.

Mercury is the ruling planet of travel and communication, which means when it enters retrograde, travel and communication are negatively affected. You're going to get stuck in more traffic. You'll experience flight delays. Your GPS might lead you to the depths of Hell. Be prepared for all of the above by giving yourself extra time to get where you need to go. This is especially important during the holiday season. You don't want to be late to Grandma's dinner party. She's bringing out the good china!

Become good friends with lavender.

Lavender is one of the most accessible scents out there and as an herb, lavender can truly be life-changing. Its scent has the power to calm nerves, and according to Salem Witch, Laurie Cabot, lavender can also open up communication. Burning a lavender candle will enable you to wind down after a frustrating retrograde-influenced day. Wearing lavender perfume will help you avoid miscommunication and remain calm in heated scenarios. Make lavender your new BFF during the retrograde.

Don’t make any big decisions.

If Drake dressed as Hulk Hogan tells you not to do it, don't do it. Right now, Drake dressed as Hulk Hogan is telling you not — we repeat — not make any big decisions. Now is not the time to buy that new car, or rent that new apartment, or even tell the guy you've been dating that you might love him! If you can help it, wait until after the retrograde is over to sign a contract — physically or emotionally. That contract might bind you to something that's already messed up by the retrograde, so just stay away! Take this time to think everything over.

Check out the practice of using the I Ching to help you figure your life out.

The I Ching, or Book of Changes, is an ancient Chinese divination text used to "promote success and good fortune and to impart balance and perspective to your life," the book's Forward states. Consult the I Ching on a daily, weekly, hourly, etc. basis to help you figure out what to focus on at that current time. The book teaches you "how to use your positive qualities in order to attain life's greatest rewards — prosperity, understanding, and peace of mind." This Chinese oracle has your back during this dark time, so use it to get the most out of the sucky retrograde situation. Check out the online I Ching, or buy the physical text to bring with you everywhere.

Prepare yourself with backup plans.

Warning: Your plans will get cancelled during retrograde. They just will. To avoid feeling sad about ending up with nothing to do on a Friday night, make yourself a list of backup plans to fill the void. Perhaps buy things necessary for a spa night — face masks, bath bombs, candles, etc. Or get yourself a bottle of nice wine to crack open and enjoy all by yourself after your friend calls you and says "she's sick." Make a queue of movies you've been wanting to watch for for-freaking-ever. Don't let Mercury retrograde win this round!

Plan a BANGER for to celebrate the end of retrograde.

Make sure retrograde — and retroshade — is completely over before throwing this party. We don't want this one thing you've been looking forward to to combust in our hands. But once we're all in the clear, throw a par-tay that will send retrograde out with a bang. You made it and that's a big deal. Plus, having something to look forward to once the dark cloud disperses will act as a beautiful light at the end of the tunnel.

Like a wise woman named Kelly Clarkson once said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” and we’re almost positive she was referencing the retrograde. Hang in there, everyone. We’ll get through this together.