If you're someone who's into astrology and, more specifically, who believes that, when Mercury goes into retrograde, the energy of the universe makes a major, disruptive shift, you might want to make sure your self-care routine is upped to the next level starting Friday, Mar. 23, and all the way until Apr. 15. This planetary phenomenon can affect all aspects of communication, from tech, to conversations, your mood, your decision-making, and yes, if it's that time of the month, Mercury retrograde may make your period feel worse than usual.
Now, don't get all worried just yet. In fact, that's exactly what astrologer Elisabeth Grace says you shouldn't do. Mercury retrograde doesn't directly affect your reproductive system per se, says Grace, but it can definitely worsen symptoms of PMS if you let the sometimes-frustrating shift in energy get the better of you.
"Mercury refers to how we need to think and communicate," Grace tells Elite Daily. "Examples of health matters that Mercury refers to include the respiratory and nervous systems, as well as hearing, speech, and manual dexterity."
Since Mercury isn't a planet that's specifically associated with your menstrual cycle, Grace explains, there's really no need to do anything in particular to prepare — except do not freak out over its retrograde period.
The astrologer explains that the stress you may feel from retrograde-induced communication or tech breakdowns might have the potential to disrupt your hormonal cycles, and in turn, make your period symptoms feel worse. If, as a result of that Mercury retrograde stress, your hormones are all out of whack, you might feel a bit more moody than usual, and you may feel super sleepy, too, TIME reports.
When it comes to taking care of yourself during this weird and hectic time, Grace tells Elite Daily it's all about the "re" in retrograde.
"Make a point to schedule some quality relaxation and retreat time between Mar. 22 and Apr. 15, because that's always apropos during a Mercury retrograde," she explains.
Plan on relaxing, reviewing, researching, reorganizing, regenerating, reconnecting, and recreating, says Grace. Remember, emphasis on the "re."
Julien Elizabeth, a Los Angeles-based astrologer, teacher, and wellness expert, has some slightly different insight on how to handle a Mercury retrograde period.
"We actually spend about half the year with Mercury retrograde, and each cycle lasts at least three weeks," Elizabeth tells Elite Daily. "So learning how to navigate its influence on us and our bodies can give great insight into self-care, especially when the menstrual moon comes through."
She also points out that a Mercury retrograde period tends to bring up the issues represented by the sign that it occupies.
"This retrograde falls within the sign of Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, the spark of initiation and creativity," Elizabeth explains. "This might be a period like no other, and one to watch if you tend to get fired up, stuck in your mind, or deal with anger when you’re menstruating."
On the bright side, Elizabeth tells Elite Daily this will be a particularly fertile time for your creative side: "It's a great time to dive into the inner workings of a creative idea you’ve had this year to complete it and share it when retrograde ends on Apr. 15."
Her suggestions for getting through PMS during a Mercury retrograde? Unplug and clean house, literally and figuratively.
"Clean out dusty closets and places of resistance you haven’t wanted to look at," Elizabeth explains. "We tend to be more sensitive during menstruation, and a retrograde with Aries can add more fuel to the fire." She recommends using this time as an opportunity to "get quiet, dive in, and ask yourself the harder questions: What needs your attention at the moment? How are you caring for yourself?"
Above all, Elizabeth wants you to know that a Mercury retrograde doesn’t have to be a bad experience for anyone, especially if you’re on your period. In fact, she tells Elite Daily this might just be the perfect time to pull yourself inward for some self-reflection on what’s truly important for you.
However, according to astrologer Skye Alexander, there might be some other aspects of your moon cycle to consider during this retrograde.
"When it's retrograde, and things related to communication get confused, a woman might also get mixed signals during this three-week time frame," Alexander tells Elite Daily. "This could be misreading her menstrual cycle and where she's at in it, what family planning practices she's using and how reliable they are, and if she's seeking medical help for period-related issues, this isn't the best time to do it." Duly noted!
Bottom line: The Mercury retrograde is going to happen whether you want it to or not. But ultimately, you are in control of how you feel, and how you respond to stress. Use this time to prioritize self-care, and remember, Mercury's got nothin' on you.