How to Survive When Mercury Is in Retrograde

Mercury retrograde is a bringer of communication-related chaos. Whether you fire off an email to the wrong person, head out to meet someone only to find your train coming to a standstill or your Wi-Fi keeps malfunctioning, chances are that Mercury retrograde is at fault. Now, look, not everyone believes in planetary forces affecting us on such a personal level, but you have to admit there are periods when communication seems to go out of kilter.

“Three or four times a year, the planet Mercury appears, from our vantage point, to come to a standstill and then move backward. This phenomenon is an optical illusion,” says intuitive astrologer Rachel Lang. Mercury is actually speeding past earth at this point.

“As it races by, it creates turbulence, dust in the skies, which makes its way like a vortex, spinning all the way down to earth causing what feels like a mountain of discombobulation for us all,” adds psychic healer Emma Lucy Knowles. “To top it off, at this time Mercury takes a power nap (astrologically, it's resting), so there are a few areas in our life that Mercury rules that we should avoid doing when the big snooze is happening.”

Since Mercury retrograde can be a time of high stress and anxiety, we spoke to three experts to find out how to navigate this tricky period with as little disruption as possible.

Keep reading to find their tips and tricks to make it out unscathed.

Do Take up a Healthy Habit

“I like to think of Mercury retrograde as a three-week period of soul-searching, detoxing, clearing your mind, and cleaning the house,” says Lang, noting that its a good time to start a diet or health routine. “You might consider seeing a healer or an energy work specialist to clear out your emotional and spiritual bodies as well.”

Don't Go Near a Salon

“Communicating a big vision will be tricky during a retrograde. It's definitely a time to avoid a drastic new short hairstyle or a change in hair color with your stylist, as wires in your communications are likely to get crossed," warns Knowles. "The messages of your vision that are received audibly by your creative guru aren't likely to be digested as well as they usually are."

Do Think Positive

“When Mercury is in retrograde, you might stress over minor details,” notes Lang. “Our obsessive thoughts, worries, and mental clutter can grow louder because you become aware of any unhealthy patterns. I recommend my clients find time to meditate and relax at least once a day to clear all that mental chatter.”

Don't Go Shopping

“Going shopping for something special will be stressful during Mercury retrograde,” warns astrologer Annabel Gat. Make a list of things you want to buy, and revisit it after the retrograde ends. If you do buy anything expensive, keep the receipt. “This is an excellent time to go through your closets and drawers and purge any stuff you no longer need. Clear your clutter,” adds Lang. You may find some long-lost beauty products or clothes you forgot you had.

Do Rely on Your Routine

“Be it food, exercise, or travel, stick to your routine as best you can. I would suggest keeping focused on making your way through your daily habits as a guide to move you through the sluggishness of the drag caused by Mercury,” says Knowles.

Do Slow Down

“Mercury rules communication and communication devices. People often complain of accidents or glitches with phones or computers during a Mercury retrograde, but I find that there are usually hidden gifts in each of those frustrating encounters,” says Lang. “For example, have you ever had your phone break and secretly thought to yourself, 'I could actually use a break from looking at my work email 24/7.' Thank Mercury. If you have been going nonstop and neglecting your health or well-being, you might need to rest and relax. When you consider each minor setback as a gift to help you slow down and take a break, you can embrace Mercury retrograde. In fact, you might want to set aside time to journal, have a massage, schedule a detoxing facial, or other self-care activity.”

Next up, how to choose a minimalist manicure based on your Zodiac sign.