I don't know of anyone who thinks a Mercury retrograde is fun, but I don't mean to make it sound like it's all bad. Part 1 and 2 of this article are  just necessary warnings, but nothing in life is all good or all bad, and every natural cycle has it's purpose. 

So what is good or useful about a Mercury retrograde? The phenomena occurs because (from our view on earth) Mercury is never too far from the Sun. However, he moves so fast at that he catches up with and passes the Sun. Then he stops for a brief moment (this is called the station) and turns around, retracing the area he sped through. When he reaches his destination, he again stops momentarily and turns direct again. Following his path, sometimes that is what we need to do.      

This is a time to review, revise, and redo. Do you notice these things all begin with re-, just like retrograde? The natural energies are reversed and internal rather than forward and external. If you focus on the type of things a Mercury retrograde is naturally inclined towards, it will be productive in the long run (still not pleasant though). The secret is living with, and letting your life flow with the natural planetary energies, rather than fighting against them. The planets will win, they are bigger than you are.

     Look around you, what have you been neglecting, rushing past and need to catch up? If you're prepared for the retrograde it's not paperwork, correspondence or things of that nature. But what about household chores, minor repairs, spending time with family and friends, or putting away holiday decorations (or seasonal items, depending on the time of the year)? What bad habits have you developed or good habits have you dropped recently? As the saying goes "As above, So below…" we are in tune with the planetary energies, whether we know it or not, and on the same path in some form. If you look around and think about it, inevitably, by the time Mercury goes retrograde you will have things in your life you have skipped over and rushes past. When forward momentum, and progress is not going well is the perfect time to take a step back.

     Of course don't make firm decisions right now, but minor changes and gather ideas for later. Take notes and write lists freely, you are likely to have a lot of valuable ideas, but forget them by the time you can go over them with a clear head or implement them. Whatever plans you haven't been able to work out or ideas you just couldn't make feasible, now you are looking at them from a different angle. Do your routines and scheduling need some revision? Try minor changes, and keep track of ideas for major changes or new projects and new things you want to do. 

     Any planet in retrograde has a tendency to turn their energies inward; that's part of the reason we are so out of touch and confused with the world around us. That's not really where our attention is naturally focused, just where it has to be directed. When you have time alone, or opportunity for deep thinking, do some soul searching.

You'll probably notice the retrograde makes you moody and whimsical, perhaps nostalgic. Your subconscious mind is more active, and there is an underlying awareness of your inner thoughts. Those things you push you the back of your mind and won't think about, are pushing back. You have a different perspective on yourself and your life. 

This is a time for reflection. Don't make any life changing decisions, but let yourself contemplate them. Let yourself contemplate all the things you normally refuse to think about, and the things that hadn't even occurred to you until now. When Mercury is direct again, you will see things a little different and realize a few points that you were missing. You will also realize some of what you thought is perfectly valid and accurate. You just hadn't looked at it that way until the retrograde.