How To Survive When Mercury Is In Retrograde, Because It Is Right Now

by Zara Barrie

Doesn't it seem like Mercury is always in f*cking retrograde? I don't know about you, but I feel like life provides us with sweet little sweeps of relief, until BAM -- it's retrograde again, and our lives are once again falling apart.

So what exactly is Mercury retrograde, you ask? Mercury retrograde is a three-week period in which the planet Mercury appears to be moving backward in motion.

"Who cares? What does that have to with ME?" you non-believers are collectively wondering.

Because the earth is out of whack, we human beings are notorious for experiencing some pretty dire side effects of retrograde, like memory loss, technology glitches, car breakdowns, miscommunications, delays, screwy contracts, breakups and general feelings of being stuck. 

Sound familiar? Are you finding yourself melting down, immersed in a pool of frustration and fighting with your nearest and dearest? Well, lovelies, that's because we are currently deep into the first retrograde of 2016. It started on January 5 and won't end until January 25.

The retrogrades of this year will be: April 28 to May 22, August 30 to September 22 and December 19 to 31. (See what I mean?! We're practically always in the throes of retrograde. It's like getting your period; you have one week of hellish PMS, followed by another week of bleeding, and half of your month is swallowed whole by your cycle).

This retrograde has been particularly insufferable for little ol' me. First, my girlfriend dumped me on the same day my ex got married. The catalyst for our breakup was a haphazard communication exchange via text. How very retrograde.

The following day, while nursing my freshly broken heart, I found out my cousin is getting incarcerated for a crime he didn't commit.

I've also been in not one but two car accidents: one in a yellow cab going over the Brooklyn Bridge and another in an Uber in Midtown at 2 am. I had to walk home in dangerously cold conditions wearing nothing but a thin peacoat, stumbling in 6.5-inch Jeffrey Campbell platform boots, looking like an out-of-work teenage runaway prostitute.

My computer is also doing these weird black-out things in which the screen will go DARK for a solid minute before coming back to life again. It's like watching a 21-year-old girl recover from a Fireball shot.

I also can't seem to decipher the difference between "than" and "then." Not good for a reader and a hassle for my editor, Alexia (she's even taken to putting a little sticky note on my computer explaining the difference — a hard blow to my frail ego).

In short, ever since January 5, my life has been a complete and total disaster. And it's not just me. A few days ago, as I was doing my morning scroll through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, I noticed a pattern penetrating my news feed:

"F*CK retrograde," my friend Lisa tweeted.

"WHY is Mercury is always in retrograde?" KT posted on to her Facebook status.

"RETROGRADE, STOP. YOU'RE RUINING MY LIFE," Eduardo captioned on his Instagram pic, with a self-loathing selfie.

So I'm not the only one, eh?

Through intensive research, my loaded retrograde past and the help from my lovely sea of suffering friends, I've decided to come up with the modern girl's retrograde survival guide. Because, kittens, we're going to get through this together, without getting arrested or hurling ourselves out the window.

Stay in as much as possible.

Let's get something straight: No one loves a fabulous, thriving party or a sinful, salacious night out on the town that teems with faux fur, and fishnets, and champagne like yours truly. I'm a creature of the glorious night.

However, going out during retrograde is setting yourself up for some pretty twisted party failures. Lost credit cards, stolen/lost iPhones, cracked screens, drunken arguments with friends and lovers -- these kinds of things happen in abundance during retrograde. Throw alcohol into the retrograde mix, and the mess will be amplified.

As boring as it sounds, a night in is actually a nice excuse for us party girls to recharge our batteries. Make the most of it. Light the expensive scented candles we bought on a whim last month but never used, read some girl-inspiring books ("#GirlBoss" and Lena Dunham's memoir are two of my favorites), explore our creativity (party girls are highly creative, we just go out too much to express it), and get down and dirty with ourselves. 

We can reemerge into society after retrograde ends as more self-aware, detoxed, well-rested versions of ourselves.

Guiltlessly bitch about how much life sucks.

My life has pretty much fallen apart this retrograde. Let's not sugarcoat it. I lost my lover, I lost a loved one to the system, and I've had two f*cking car accidents. It SUCKED.

But you know what? One really good thing has come out of all of this: I've earned my glass of wine at the end of the day. And so have you, my beautiful suffering sister.

Now is not the time to "cleanse" on wheatgrass and go to yoga. You're going through sh*t! And as my best friend Ruba likes to say when sh*t goes down, "Treat yo' self, girl."

Blame retrograde for ALL OF YOUR PROBLEMS.

You're late to an important meeting in the workplace? You just caused a fender bender on the freeway? You sent your ex a regrettable text. HONEY, IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT! IT'S RETROGRADE.

Blame it all on the stars while you can, darling. Because before we know it, retrograde will be over, and we will have to take personal responsibility (ICK, I know) on our f*ck-ups again.

Look at your life with a fresh set of eyes.

Retrograde comes with a hidden treasure. It's a total reset-button for your entire life. You might burn bridges and lose your laptop, but think of it this way: You have to lose all that you love in order to gain bigger, better things.

As our lovely muse Florence wails in her epic ballad "Shake It Out," it's always darkest before the dawn.

Take everything with a grain of the ol' salt.

If your boss in your retail job is yelling at you because you aren't reaching your target, or your girlfriends are being extra bitchy, or your car is acting out -- don't sweat it. Take a deep breath, and remember it's retrograde.

It's not a time to take anything personally. Chalk up the nasty retorts, the breakdowns and the miscommunications to the zodiac.

Find humor in your misery.

Sometimes when things are SO sh*tty, the best thing in the entire world is TO LAUGH. Isn't all comedy derived from mishaps, and pain, and emotional discontent?

Start working on your stand-up comedy routine. No one laughs at life when it's going perfectly! I have an idea; start writing your ironic memoir or a cheeky essay for Elite Daily. When life sucks, you're in your comedic prime.

GIRL, back up your phone.

You will lose your phone. Or your content will get erased.


Please back up your phone. Right. Now.


Whatever you do, don't send nude pics to anyone, especially with your face in them. They will get into the wrong hands, they will go viral, and your mother will disown you.

January 25 is not that far away. On that fine day, recklessly send out those nudes.

Rage out.

I don't mean party rage. I mean get pissed off. Get it out of your system. Yell at the person who has been bothering you and driving you NUTS for months.

Because no one can stay mad. It's Mercury in retrograde. You couldn't help yourself, right?