As the champagne bubbles fizzle down and we brush off the final bits of last year's glitter, we enter 2016.
We are bright-eyed and ready to start fresh on our New Year's resolutions.
It hasn't even been a full week into the new year, but the cosmos already have plans to shake things up by throwing Mercury into retrograde.
Neat. Thanks, universe.
Whether you know nothing about it, think it's some BS astrology gimmick or have gotten to the point where you’ve marked it on your calendar and prepared for weeks on end, here’s a little recap:
Mercury is in retrograde only a few times a year.
This year, those dates are January 5 to 25, April 28 to May 22, August 30 to September 22 and December 19 to 31.
I suggest you mark that sh*t down, folks. (Even you, nonbelievers.)
So, what does this even mean?
Well, in the zodiac, it sometimes appears the planets are going backwards. This is what’s called a retrograde motion.
Because Mercury is the planet that rules communication, coordination, intellect, awareness, travel and the like, anything that can go wrong with those aspects probably will.
You may find it will be harder to get your ideas across and express yourself, irrational arguments may arise because you’ve just said the wrong thing, plans won’t work out, you’ll constantly run late and you'll just feel off.
No, there’s nothing wrong with you. The universe isn’t conspiring against you.
It’s important to remember we’re all in this sh*t show of a situation together.
Especially when we’re trying to start the new year off right and trying to actually stick to our resolutions, this can prove disastrous for any and all ambitions and commitments.
But it’s not impossible.
You can still master the elliptical, get through that list of projects and even pursue that relationship.
There are just a few things to keep in mind.
Here are some ways to gracefully navigate this cosmic phenomenon, so you start your new year like a boss.
1. Don’t take anything personally.
As mentioned, this is a time when a lot of misunderstandings can occur, due to miscommunication.
It’s good to keep a calm and steady head to avoid unnecessary arguments.
I’m not saying absolutely every sh*tty thing that’s ever been said to you should be forgiven and blamed on Mercury being in retrograde, but knowing it's happening will help you react in a more controlled way.
2. Be flexible.
Just know that mishaps are bound to happen.
You can be ticked off about it, but don’t beat yourself up over it.
Have a backup plan and create a little mental safety net for yourself so you don’t go absolutely insane when things don’t go as planned.
Expect all sorts of surprises and delays, and make sure to double check everything.
3. Take the time to reflect.
Since you will have more access than usual to your intuition and subconscious, this is the perfect time for a little introspection.
Though it is the new year and it seems like you should be looking forward rather than backward, this could actually be a great time of revelation for you.
Meditate on some of the more recent events in your life, especially in the weeks leading up to this point.
See what you come away with.
This may actually help inform some of the decisions you make in the new year, and help you think about new ways to tackle your goals.
Allow yourself to rest and recharge.
Soon, you’ll see how effectively this renewed energy can propel you forward.
4. Revisit old things.
During this time of reflection, it’s also great to retry your hand at some old projects or reconnect with people from your past.
Pick up those dust-covered things you’ve stashed away -- whether a piece of writing, art, a recipe, old journals or just an idea -- and revitalize those gems.
Reach out to someone with whom you’ve lost touch and do some catching up.
You never know where it could all lead.
This could be the time to bring it back.
5. Avoid making major commitments.
This probably isn’t the best time to jump right into a relationship, switch a job or sign any sort of binding contract.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t, but avoid placing too much importance on decisions.
Any commitments made during this time may not be likely to last for too long. They may not even be the right ones to begin with.
Instead, focus on renewing old commitments you’ve made.
Review your goals, fall in love with your partner all over again and make sure you’re grounded in the places you want to be.
Just because you shouldn’t make any commitments doesn’t mean you can’t plan ahead for them.
Use this time to do ample research and preparation for when you're finally ready to commit to something, whether it's that new job, school or relationship.
Work on your résumé, and look into new places you want to explore or different things you want to try.
It’s a great time to do some of that homework so you can make the right decision later.
7. Stay open-minded.
Most importantly, keep an open mind.
Embrace the changes, let the mistakes happen, forgive and just move forward.
Mercury in retrograde ain’t got nothin’ on you, beautiful.