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You’ve probably heard lots of buzz about the planet Mercury this month, or maybe you’ve felt a little out of whack and just can’t seem to figure out why. Well, the answer is retrograde. It began on October 31st and will last until November 20th, so right now, we’re still in the thick of it. If you’re wondering what the heck that means, read on. We asked our resident astrology guru, Heather McCormick, to give us a quick run-down on Mercury retrograde and what you can do to get ahead of it this month.
When Mercury retrogrades, Mercury appears to be moving backward in its orbit. This happens three or four times a year, and lasts for around three weeks at a time. Mercury retrogrades are great, as they catalyze change by shifting the energy related to our communication and expression. This type of energy can be frustrating and test our patience, or it can allow for introspection and growth, depending on how you choose to participate. Mercury retrograde can make things feel weird, uncomfortable, and difficult, but these are the emotions necessary for personal advancement. It’s a time to review, observe, and pause the mind. I like to think of a Mercury retrograde as a mini New Year’s. At the end of every year, we assess our actions and make changes. Mercury retrograde is a marker, just like New Year’s. You can review what you learned during the past “year” and your goals for moving forward during this period to be in better alignment for continual growth.
Depending on which sign or signs Mercury journeys through during retrograde, specific energies will surface (think of your zodiac sign). This retrograde is in Scorpio. When I think of signs and what energies they have, I try to dissect the word. For example, Scorpio sounds like scorpions, which are piercing and deep. The colors associated with scorpions are black and red. They hide in the dark and prey at night, and they typically only hurt humans when they are stepped on. Mercury retrograding in Scorpio will target areas that are intense and sensitive. That means something different to each of us, depending on where we require healing. As I mentioned earlier, Mercury in Scorpio will provide an opportunity for headway and enduring transformation. Don’t fear the pain, but expect this retrograde to sting.
The sign that Mercury is retrograding in sends out a general vibe to everyone. Scorpio demands transformation. It also rules a different area of life for each individual sign, which is where we see it impact us. The area of life that Scorpio rules for your sun sign holds the highest potential for change. The more attention you bring to that area of your life at this time, the more you will get from this retrograde. Here’s what you can do...
Aries - Pay attention to the power you give to your thoughts.
Taurus - Restructure how you relate to others.
Gemini - Align your lifestyle with purpose.
Cancer - Own the ways you unconventionally express yourself.
Leo - Understand the roots of your home.
Virgo - Communicate to strengthen your connections.
Libra - Be aware that what brings you joy is an extension of yourself.
Scorpio - Recognize your relationship to your own agenda.
Sagittarius - Make the unseen seen with your creative process.
Capricorn - Contribute your most unique opinions and ideas without judgment.
Aquarius - Strengthen your self-worth through achievements.
Pisces - Adjust your perspective to create opportunities.
The feelings and situations we avoid and blame during this time are exactly what we need to confront. To make the most out of this time, avoid having quick reactions, since Mercury retrograde is notorious for creating technical difficulties and can increase frustrations. Addressing challenging situations is never a bad thing, but take a moment before you switch on your autopilot reaction. Mercury retrograde gives us that moment as a choice with the potential to make impactful change. Also, steer clear of major binding decisions like signing a contract. If you can’t avoid this, cross your T’s and dot your I’s twice, and have your neighbor double-check it for you.
Reassess, reflect, and realign with what is true to you—no matter what your sign is. Embrace what finds you during this time, for it is an opportunity for transformation. When we look back on our past with a Scorpionic lense, situations, thoughts, and people that carry a bittersweetness will stand out. Think about what area of your life Scorpio effects during this time based on your sign and see what surfaces. You don’t need to understand astrology, to be honest with yourself. Seek ownership in all areas of your life and let go of blaming.
Mimic the motion of the planet. Shifting your mindset and being open to other perspectives is progressive in itself, especially if you are willing to revisit the past during a Mercury retrograde. Be prepared for things to be intense and serious (think journaling and meditating to 90s grunge instead of having a heart-to-heart with your best friend). Thank Scorpio. Proactively take care of your physical and emotional needs so that you can do intentional work. No matter what your sign is, increase awareness of your behaviors and reactions to your surroundings to make retrogrades work for you instead of against you.
Still curious about astrology? Find out what your horoscope *actually* means to learn even more about your sign and how all this planet stuff really works. While you’re at it, be sure to check out The Best Beauty + Wellness Treatments for your Zodiac Sign and The Best Workouts Based on Your Zodiac Sign!
Since 1992, April has been recognized as Stress Awareness Month. It was established to help shed light on the issues behind stress, teach us how to fight it, and create methods to overcome it. While this initiative has existed just shy of three decades, this year it seems particularly important.
With a year under our belts in pandemic mode—a lot of us had to get creative when it came to keeping our cool. On top of that, everyday stresses didn’t just magically disappear during this time either. Just think about it—have you ever been in a situation that was overwhelming? Maybe you’ve had a looming deadline or a to-do list that seems, well...totally un-doable? If you’ve ever felt you were in over your head, please know you’re not alone—you never are. At one time or another, we’ve all been affected by stress—although each person may manifest it differently. Me? I'm definitely a frequent rider on the "hot mess stress express."
There are many ways to help combat stress—some of us seek out support from friends and family, while others find solace in taking up meditation or unwinding with a relaxing yoga class. Whatever helps you find peace, just keep doing you. But also know we have some resources to help you overcome stress whenever the need arises.
Here are some blog posts that are always available to you when you feel a little stressed out:
When in doubt, breathwork expert and sound healer, Shanila Sattar, always has tips to help ground yourself—especially in times of need. In this blog post, she gives you the recipe for incorporating self-love into your daily routine by encouraging us to ask ourselves these questions: How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love? As we all know, self-love defines and redefines itself for everyone over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a practice that has been around for thousands of years and it aims to restore the mind, body, and soul through deep, guided meditation. The way it works is like the way a power nap helps one feel refreshed during a particularly exhausting day, except you aren’t technically sleeping. I describe it as a long-form of savasana—anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. (Real talk: savasana is one of the best parts of practicing yoga, am I right?)
TLDR: I learned that I could conquer stress in a matter of minutes with Yoga Nidra.
Are we safe in saying this last year brought up a ton of emotions the likes of which we did not plan for? The good, the bad, the “unprecedented”—our hearts and minds have been taken on a wild rollercoaster ride, and for many of us, our mental health is suffering. With our minds running in thousands of directions, it’s hard to notice our own needs. Yes, our attention to the goings-on of last year is vital but caring for ourselves is as important as ever. Here are some tips from our favorite yoga instructor, Dani Schenone.
Have you been feeling it? The big emotion floating around the last year is the Big Anxiety. Coupled with the stress of what the COVID-19 pandemic has bought for millions of people, disturbed wellness routines, and worry, we have a recipe to create massive damage to ourselves. Adjusting to the new normal, with social distancing practices in place and adapting to precautions and routines, may be the root of even more anxiousness for many as we’re navigating uncharted territories.
If you've got those familiar feelings of stress and anxiety coursing through your body right now, you're definitely not alone. We get it. Times are uncertain, our mental health is taxed, we're doing what we can to reduce stress and anxiety in general, and relaxation has taken a back seat. It’s no secret that stress is proven to weaken our immunity, so now more than ever, it's important to relax, deal with what's happening, and find the coping mechanisms to help you reclaim your mental health and reduce your involvement in stressed moments. Let's deal with stress and anxiety together and see what we can do to reduce them.
Meditation will change your life if you let it. The pace of our modern life is at least ten times what it was just 10 years ago. Technology improved our lives but also created a more frenetic and stressful pace. If we decided to stop, breathe, and become more mindful, we would reduce stress and experience much more enjoyment in each moment of our everyday lives.
There’s always something to worry about. Whether it’s our career, relationships, dating, or trauma, we go through moments that bombard us with negative thoughts that can make us feel anxious and stressed. Our worries may often define our choices, our view of the world, or ourselves. This doesn’t mean they are faults, flaws, or downfalls—we just need to practice managing them in a healthy way, placing deserved value on self-care. Yoga is only one connection. Check out these seven yoga poses that can help your mind and body when you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or overall stress.
We’re all guilty of our routines and habits running our lives at one point or another. We’re all guilty of being attached to our schedules and our to-do list. We’re all guilty of running on a loop every now and then. As the energies of 2021 continue to shift, we get to ask ourselves the intentions of why and how we are participating in the places we are participating in, the thoughts we are thinking, the habits we are cultivating, and the communities that we are a part of. This intention and mindfulness process can not only shift our own experiences but of those around us as well.
If you have found meditation to be useful in trying times, right now is an incredible time to also try virtual sound baths to receive the deep sound healing benefits. As many of us are processing a variety of emotions as a collective—stress, worry, fear, anxiety, uncertainty—we can start to cause long-term damage to our bodies, especially to our immune and nervous systems. Giving ourselves self-care in a way that is easy, non-intrusive, and simple, can be the perfect way to help your body restore.
These resources aren’t the only thing we have to help you deal with stress—they’re just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are tons of classes available to you on the Mindbody app and through Mindbody Flex to help you reignite your calm whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. And always remember, at the end of the day, your best is always good enough.