Whether or not you’re plugged into everything cosmic, you probably still know that Mercury went retrograde this past Saturday. And while there may be plenty of people who are claiming the cosmos will be messing up their lives for the next three weeks, we’d like to remind you that Mercury going retrograde isn’t actually the end of the world. When a planet is retrograde, it looks like it’s spinning backwards. This is just an optical illusion, but it does have some weight to it; everything that planet rules over goes kinda haywire.
Since Mercury rules travel, communication, and expression, we can expect these areas of our life to become more stressful than usual. But, there’s no need to panic. The key to surviving retrograde is to go slow, avoid signing contracts, avoid booking travel plans, and to double-check anything important.
Since Mercury is in retrograde until September 5th, we’ve rounded up 15 ways for you to survive the season
1Back your ish up.
The #1 rule of retrograde? Back that ish up. Buy an external hard drive or a USB drive, use Google Docs, save everything a million times, and make sure you have a copy of everything. When Mercury is retrograde, our computers and phones are more likely to crash, and that one file we thought we saved finds a way to slip through the cracks. In other words, we’re left realizing we need a back-up plan. So, back it up. That way, if anything happens, you’re prepared and unfazed.
2Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Mercury Retrograde reminds us that yes, those little things can be important and worrisome, but only to an extent. Take your time, slow down, reread everything carefully, and (we repeat) back your shit up. Beyond that? Don’t go out of your way to add more stress to your life. Don’t make a bigger deal than necessary over the little things. There is such a thing as being overtly cautious. Mercury in retrograde asks us to surrender to what’s happening. As long as you set yourself up for success, and take your time with what you’re working on, there’s no need to micromanage and expect perfection.
3Don’t sign any contracts.
If you can avoid signing any important contracts while Mercury is retrograde, then by all means, do. If you can wait until a week after Mercury goes direct (aka when it goes out of retrograde), then you’ll be even more in the clear. However, life happens and you probably can’t always avoid signing things when Mercury is being its pesky self in retrograde. If you have to sign something, look it over multiple times, get a second opinion, look it over again, and then sign.
4Don’t plan any new travel.
Just like the above, Mercury Retrograde is not the time to book new travel. Try and avoid it, and wait until a week after Mercury goes direct, when the planet is out of its shadow period. If you have to travel, read all the fine print, buy insurance, and make sure you have plenty of extra time to get wherever you’re going.
5Read the fine print.
See that fine print? Read it, and read it again! If there’s one thing Mercury Retrograde tricks us into doing, it’s thinking we already have all the information we need. We probably don’t, which is why we need to read the fine print. If you have to make a big decision, this is especially important. Take the time to look over the details a couple extra times to make sure you don’t miss anything.
6And then read it all again.
Oh yeah, read that fine print again just in case.
7Get a second opinion.
Once you’re done rereading the fine print, get someone else to look over it. If you’re signing a legal contract, get a lawyer or a legal professional to check everything over if you can. Either way, two sets of eyes are better than one, and this is especially true during the cosmic happenstance of Mercury Retrograde.
8Go with the flow.
Not only are we going through Mercury Retrograde, but we’re also in the middle of eclipse season. This is a cosmic reminder to slow down, relax, and go with the flow. Listen, shit happens! It does, it’s the truth, and it’s especially the truth during Mercury Retrograde. Prepare yourself and then just roll with the punches. If something unexpected happens, ask yourself how you can surrender and work for a better outcome. Practice some self-compassion and patience — now more than ever it’s necessary. Don’t set yourself up for stress, dear one!
9Expect the unexpected
Expecting the unexpected is the second key to rolling with the punches. If you’re expecting the unexpected, not necessarily anything “bad,” just something you may not be used to seeing everyday, then you’re already viewing Mercury Retrograde as a natural process you work with and not against.
10Slow it down.
While you’re rereading contracts, expect the unexpected and go with the flow, and remember to make that flow extra slow. Take your time. Mercury Retrograde and eclipse season remind us of that old adage: “Slow and steady wins the race.” Take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to work through something at a sustainable pace.
11Breathe it out, babe.
There’s a difference between breathing and breathing intentionally. Have you taken a long, delicious breath today? Stop right now and do it. Taking time to connect with your breath will help you survive the crazy happenings of Mercury Retrograde and eclipse season.
If you’re feeling anxious or tense, you can practice 2/4 breathing — inhaling for a count of two and exhaling for a count of four. You can also read our interview with two breathwork coaches for more ways to breathe easy.
12Cleanse and clear out anything that’s no longer serving you.
There’s a time and a space for cleaning out the extra, unnecessary ish, and that time is now. What’s cluttering your closet? How about your desk? How about your mind? Take time to donate old clothes, organize those piles, and clean it all away. Write down what’s holding you back mentally and burn it. Getting through retrograde means allowing ourselves space and freedom to focus on what’s important. And don’t forget to cleanse yourself and your space with smoke from palo santo or sage to really clean the cosmic cracks.
13Expect to hear from and see people from your past.
Besides expecting the unexpected, expect to see or hear from that one ex who got away, or your college roomie who you haven’t seen in years. Mercury Retrograde sends all of these people back to us, probably to teach us a comic lesson, so make sure you’re calm and cool (with an outfit to boot) to be prepared for whoever it is you see.
14Don’t be a Negative Nancy.
Listen, the cosmos are already making things difficult for us right now. The least you can do is set yourself up for success, mentally. Think positively as much as you can, find some self-compassion, and make your mind your BFF and not your enemy. You can get through this. You can do it!
15Make time to relax.
Another key to surviving when the world feels like it’s spinning out of control? Relaxing. Take a bath, drink some tea, meditate, paint, binge on Netflix…Do whatever you gotta do to get through this.
You’ll be okay. We promise.