By now, you probably know we're in the throes of Mercury retrograde (aka, astrology's most infamous reoccurring event). Through Thursday, February 3, Mercury will slow down, entering its first of four retrogrades for the year. For most of us, this means that no matter how hard we prep, something seems to go awry—car batteries suddenly die, phone screen cracks, early morning trains run 20 minutes later than normal. These 3-ish weeks are hectic, unreliable, and oh-so-good at throwing us for a loop at the last minute.
Feeling Mercury's burn already and not sure how you're going to survive? You've come to the right place. We asked our team what they do to make it through Mercury retrograde, and some of the answers may surprise you. From topping off their gas tank to leaning into aromatherapy, here are their tips for surviving *and* thriving during this astrological event.
W+G staff-approved suggestions to survive Mercury retrograde
1. Save your digital work a zillion times
Mercury is the ruler of technology, and when it spins "backwards," phones and laptops tend to get a little wonky. Don't be surprised if your computer crashes, documents mysteriously disappear, and important emails go un-sent.
Now's the time to do your due diligence with technology. For example, our senior producer Taylor Camille saves hard copies of her work to her computer juuust in case her WiFi fails over these next three weeks: "Just last night I said, 'Let me make a back up of this Google document and download it to my computer in case I have internet issues during retrograde." Saving your work—and having two copies instead of one—can save you in a pinch.
Senior commerce editor Gina Vaynshteyn also swears by making extra room in her iCloud storage. "Now's the time to actually back up my files and delete photos in my phone so that I don't go over my Cloud storage, which I definitely have," she says. "In case something happens to my laptop and phone, at least I have the peace of mind my stuff is safe, or at least exists somewhere." Tl;dr—prepare yourself for technical troubles, and back-up your work more than your normally do.
2. Spill your guts into a journal
Mercury also rules communication, which is why astrologers frequently warn of biting your tongue or waiting to have that important conversation with a friend after Mercury finishes its retrograde. When you can't find the words you want to say (or just need a safe space to vent), it might be time to invest in a good journal.
"Journaling is my best friend during Mercury retrograde cycles," says lifestyle writer Natalie Arroyo-Camacho. "I do my best to journal year-round, but I am more strict about this being a daily practice during Mercury retrogrades because it helps me understand how I'm feeling and how those feelings can influence my interactions—which are often tough when the planet of communication is in its backwards spin." Jot down your Mercury-related musings into a journal or notebook, and save the serious convos post-retrograde.
3. Tighten up your travel plans
Don't be surprised if you run into a train delay or last-minute flight cancellation during this time—Mercury retrograde is infamous for tweaking travel, for better or for worse. Whether you're going on a long-planned vacation or a last-minute weekend getaway, go the extra mile to tighten up your itinerary during this time.
Even if you're not packing your bags for a sojourn, just be prepared for hiccups on the road. Maybe leave a few minutes earlier than normal to make that appointment, or triple-check your backpack before heading out for work for the day. Catie Jaffe, our growth marketing manager, suggests simply topping off your gas tank over the next couple of weeks rather than running on empty. "During Mercury retrograde I always make sure there's [at least a] half tank of gas in my car, just in case," Jaffe says. "You just never know!"
4. Spark some joy—literally
As someone who seems to feel Mercury's wrath harder with each and every retrograde, my new go-to is aromatherapy. Whether it's a citrus-scented bubble bath to wind-down after a long day, or putting my favorite oil in a diffuser and letting it works its magic, scent seems to soothe me in even the most hectic times.
I've even gotten the Survive Mercury Retrograde Candle ($42) which I've been lighting each morning to "clear the vibes," so to speak. Each candle is poured over an amazonite crystal, which is known for its peaceful healing properties on the mind and spirit (read more about that here if you're curious!). Layer that on the lavender vetiver scent, and it's instantly grounding when you need it most. When travel plans go awry, or the internet goes down unexpectedly, a waft of this candle makes you forget what you were fretting about in the first place.
This candle is formulated specifically for this Mercury retrograde (January 14-February 3, 2022), meaning your bound to get the best vibes.
5. Sweat out your stresses
World feeling chaotic? Brain feeling cluttered? Everything just feeling a little off-kilter? That's Mercury retrograde for ya. Mercury seemingly spinning backwards can leave your head spinning, too, which means a good dose of endorphins might be in order. Saanya Ali, our editorial projects associate, is prioritizing her gym time this Mercury retrograde and thereafter to support her mental health.
"Lately, as a renewed member at my favorite gym after a 'I'll just go to the track and do living room workouts' hiatus, I have been carving out time in the evenings to go every day. If I have more work to do, I can finish it afterwards. If I have plans, they can be made one hour later. If I have errands to run, they can be done in the morning or post-workout," she explains. "This isn't to say that I am grunting in the weight room daily, but it is to say that even the smallest sweat sesh being a priority in my day has helped my sleep, mental health, given me something to look forward to during the mid-day slump, and allowed me to really care for my 'self care' time."
Be it an afternoon jog around the neighborhood, a yoga flow at your favorite studio, or a hardcore HIIT workout that'll leave exhausted in the best way possible, a good sweat sesh might be the boost your body and brain need to survive this Mercury retrograde.
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