Like peanut butter and jelly or Batman and Robin, Mercury retrograde and issues within in your interpersonal relationships is a real iconic duo. That’s because the cosmic transit, happening three times this year, has a way of messing up so may aspects of our lives. But, exactly how does Mercury retrograde affect us, you ask? Well, since technology, travel, communication, and any combination of those big-hitters are compromised, so many components of our lives are out of sync during this time. As such, many understandably end up walking around angry, unapproachable, and downright negative, leaving the rest of us in some need of serious cosmic attitude protection from energy vampires.
We all have a few of them in our lives, whether it’s a constantly complaining friend, an ex who keeps resurfacing every few months, or a toxic narcissist boss who always takes credit for your work. So, given that communication is one of the big-deal ways Mercury in retrograde affects us, how can you best deal with the negative energy during a time when we’re all especially sensitive?
Well, self care and healthy boundaries are both key. To keep you positively protected, given that Mercury is in retrograde in Pisces through March 10, we got expert tips for getting through. Because everyone is going to be in their feelings for the next few weeks.
How does Mercury retrograde affect us? Usually, not well—here are 4 ways to protect yourself from the negativity.
1. Try not to judge others who are down, low, or in a negative mood
This particular retrograde is in Pisces, so it’s likely to play heavily on our emotions. So keep that in mind and try as best you can to exercise patience, even when it doesn’t necessarily feel earned.
“During Mercury retrograde, we need to practice compassion—especially during this one, because Mercury is in Pisces, meaning we could all feel more sensitive,” says astrologer Rachel Lang. “But because you could feel more sensitive, you’re also more open to picking up on others’ energies. That’s why it’s important to maintain healthy boundaries.” We’re all going to feel all our feelings, so be extra kind to those you love and keep those who drain you at arm’s length—but kindly.
2. Surround yourself with uplifting people to counteract the low vibes
“Know what kind of people you want in your energy field,” says Lang. “Gravitate toward those people. The law of attraction works well here. The higher you raise your vibration by thinking positive thoughts, maintaining a positive attitude, and being with positive people, the less you will attract negativity in your life.”
So when Mercury is in retrograde, it really isn’t the most opportune time to act upon any “misery loves company” sort of attitude. Instead, use this opportunity to appreciate your most optimistic friends as happy forcefields against negative drains. For example, if your former work best friend was an absolute cheerleader for you, now’s a good time to reconnect for a coffee date. Similarly, consider meeting up with your yoga group for a class rather than your happy-hour group for a drink.
“The more you spend time with positive people who energize you, the less time you’ll have for those who are energy vampires or those who drag you down,” says Lang. “Your whole social circle will shift once you prioritize the positive people in your life.”
3. Cleanse yourself, not just your social media feed
Sure, now is probably a smart time to mute or unfollow any Instagram accounts that upset you. But, what Lang is really suggesting is a more holistic and literal cleanse.
“If you feel sad, depressed, or low after talking to someone, then you likely picked up on some of their energy,” says Lang. “Take a salt bath. Salt neutralizes that heavy energy. Or sage yourself. It’s important to keep your aura clear. Neptune rules Pisces, and Neptune’s influence can make our auras more porous and, thus, more sensitive to others’ energies.”
4. Say no
Learning how to say no is one of the most important tools you can develop for ongoing self care. It’s also, despite being a two letter world that toddlers can easily scream when they’re getting impatient in Whole Foods, often difficult to express. “This sounds simple, but you can easily talk yourself into saying yes to things you sort of want to do and then change your mind later,” Lang says.
To that end, accept that you may not exercise you right to say no, but you can be intentional with how you act, regardless of how you ultimately RSVP. “Make sure your no means no and your yes means yes,” says Lang. “You run the risk of looking like a flake for changing plans during Mercury retrograde.”
This cosmic event doesn’t just amplify negativity in platonic relationships—here’s how to keep your love life safe during Mercury retrograde. And once Mercury stations direct, here’s how to rebuild during Mercury retroshade.
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