Here's Everything You Should And Shouldn't Do When Mercury Is In Retrograde

Consider this your mercury retrograde survival guide.

Art by Jasmine Calderon

It's happened yet again — Mercury has gone retrograde.

This dreaded astrological occurrence has become quite the topic, because, well, things are known to get a little crazy. But before we dive into ways you can better navigate these choppy astral waters, let's get a general understanding of what Mercury retrograde actually means. Just like planet Earth, and every other planet in our solar system, Mercury too follows an orbit around the sun. When Mercury goes into retrograde, the planet appears to move backwards from the perception of us here on Earth, though in reality it's just an illusion caused by our different orbital speeds. 

So, why does hysteria ensue? Well, Mercury governs communication, and is also associated with travel, finances, and technology. Therefore, all of those things listed above can go a little haywire. A retrograde is also tied to the past, so don't be surprised if an ex or old best friend pops back into your life. 

While it's easy to blame anything bad that happens on Mercury being retrograde, these periods really aren't that bad — well, as long as you're prepared. None of us are completely safe from Mercury's backward grasp, but there are ways for you the weather the storm like a pro. 

Keep reading for everything you should and shouldn't do during while Mercury is retrograde, from July 7 to August 2 this time around. 

Do: Double And Triple Check All Emails Before Sending 

If you're going to heed any piece of advice, we recommend this one. Even the biggest skeptics can keep this little tip in mind, because, really, it's just common sense.  And yet, we can't stress it enough. It's all too common during a Mercury retrograde to accidentally hit "reply all" when you really just wanted to reply to one specific recipient. The last thing you need is your boss knowing your thoughts on that presentation she just gave. 

Don't: Sign Any Contracts

It's strongly recommended you do not sign any new contracts when Mercury is in retrograde, or enter into any sort of binding agreement. We get it, this can be tough sometimes because life happens regardless of Mercury's retrograde calendar, but really try your best to avoid it if you can. One place you can give yourself some leeway is if you're re-signing or renewing something in which you've already been involved. It's not the most ideal, but if you're renewing your lease on the same apartment you've lived in for the last five years, you're probably going to be okay. 

Do: Expect To Run Into People

There's nothing like a Mercury retrograde to have you bumping into everyone from you past as you walk down the street. Those from the past will return — whether in person, through text, or maybe even in a dream — so just prepared. It doesn't have to be a bad thing!

Don't: Text Your Ex

Everything You Should And Shouldn't Do When Mercury Is In Retrograde

I mean, unless you're trying to open that can of worms. 

Do: Back Up Your Electronics 

If you know a retrograde is on the horizon, back up your electronics just to be safe. It would seriously suck to lose all your pictures and documents.

Don't: Buy Any New Electronics

The same way you shouldn't sign any new contracts, hold off on buying that new phone until the retrograde passes. 

Do: Plan Reunions

If you've been meaning to plan a reunion or get-together with a bunch of friends, seize a Mercury retrograde as a time to do so. This way you're embracing the past in the best way possible.

Don't: Schedule A Surgery (Unless You Have To)

First and foremost, if it's an emergency, then definitely get whatever medical procedure you need — surgery included. We acknowledge Mercury retrograde as a real cosmic occurrence with influence, but that doesn't mean it destroys everything in its path. Life continues to go on, and we always end up perfectly fine in the end. But if you're scheduling a non-emergency surgery for months in the future, avoid a Mercury retrograde if you have the luxury to do so. It's not so much that we think something would go wrong with the actual procedure, it's just that the fewer complications around a big event like that the better. 

Do: Pause Before You Speak

Kind of like how we told you to take those emails slow and steady, you could also do so when it comes to your verbal communication. Take a deep breath and allow a moment of pause before you react and respond — you would hate for there to be any sort of miscommunication.

Don't: Go On A Social Media Rant

Please, we're begging you, do not go on a social media rant. Nothing good is ever accomplished — especially during this very delicate time.

Do: Expect Travel Delays 

When Mercury is in retrograde, there will be delays and mix-ups with travel. If you're flying somewhere, double and triple check your itinerary to make sure they didn't change the departure time or reassign the gate. As a rule of thumb, we suggest you leave early for whatever you do. Even if your travel plans are on schedule, you could hit unexpected traffic along the way. 

Don't: Panic

Relax girl, it's just Mercury retrograde — the world isn't ending! Yes, things can get a bit chaotic, but that's just life, isn't it? Beyond being equipped with an awesome survival guide (you're welcome), we also urge you to view this time as an opportunity to forgive and let go of the past. It's all about your mindset. If you're scared of a Mercury retrograde then you're probably going to live in fear for the entirety of its run, but if you tell yourself it's going to be a time of healing and a fun test of your ability to adapt and go with the flow, then you'll meet the challenge head on — and maybe even conquer it.  

Pop Culture Editor at Livingly. You can reach me by email at and on Instagram @sydneyfvz