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How to survive three weeks of communication and technology breakdowns without having a nervous breakdown.

Ever have a week when nobody understands you? Your cell phone erases itself, people argue over nonsense, traffic sucks, and your computer crashes as you’re typing the last sentence of your Great American Novel. Flights are delayed or cancelled, or you forget your passport at home on the way to Mexico. Plans change without warning and your friends stand you up. Even if you’re already a drama queen, this is just BEYOND.

Chances are, you’re smack in the middle of Mercury retrograde.

cat-dino-scream

Three or four times a year, Mercury passes the earth in its orbit. From a space-geek’s telescope, this creates the illusion that Mercury is spinning backward. Mercury rules communication, travel, and technology — so all of these areas go haywire for about three weeks. Fun!

So how not to have a nervous breakdown? Focus on the prefix re-, which means to go backward. Don’t start anything new. Review all your contracts before you sign. Renew your commitments, rather than making new ones. Prepare to repeat yourself often. It’s like learning a new dance. Or something.

Note to all 21st-century dwellers: Mercury retrograde can crash electronic equipment. Back up your computer, calendar and cell phone address book. Expect delays if traveling, and pack a book to entertain yourself while you wait for the tardy bus or plane. Get in touch with old friends – and don’t be surprised if people from your past track you down. You might hear from the most RANDOM ex-boyfriends and childhood classmates during retrogrades. Mercury also rules contracts, so think before you ink. Either wrap up important negotiations before the cycle starts, or wait to sign documents until Mercury goes direct.

The silver lining? Mercury retrograde is a great opportunity to handle unfinished business. Most of us start a million things that we don’t complete, never realizing how much psychic clutter this creates. The retrograde is like a quarterly review, a chance to tie up those loose ends and create a clear vision for the future. Take advantage of it, and you’ll emerge fresh and ready when Mercury goes direct. As the cliche goes, what you resist persists. So the more you can embrace having zero control (and isn’t control an illusion, anyhow?), the better you’ll survive this cycle.

Images via WeHeartIt.