Mercury Is in Retrograde: Here's How to Survive the Chaos

Bad news, everyone. Today is Friday the 13th. And it's a full moon. And the planet Mercury is in retrograde. In other words, shit is about to get weird.

Mercury's retrograde is the universe's idea of a practical joke that goes on for three weeks and happens four times a year. What happens is that Mercury slows down and appears to stop; then an optical illusion makes it seem as if it's moving backward. All planets do this, but Mercury's halt and three-week chillout by the sun has a different sort of impact to us down here on Earth. Why? Astrologers say Mercury rules our ability to communicate and think clearly. It also rules our intelligence, mind, and memory. In mainstream society, that means it controls commerce, computers, telephones, travel, transportation, and anything having to do with relaying a message or thing from one place to another.

But that doesn't mean you should stay home like a hermit crab for the next three weeks. You just have to be a little careful. Here are some precautions to take, especially in Miami.

See also: Florida Is the Most Stressed State in America, Study Says

Actions and decisions during Mercury's retrograde can seem sabotaged, astrologers say, meaning you oftentimes have to repeat processes multiple times (even after Mercury goes direct) to get the outcome you wanted. Our recommendation? Avoid the following:

Going to the mall

Miami malls are already like Hell on Earth, so you can imagine what happens during Mercury's prank on telecommunication. Expect long lines, cash-register crashes, fights over price markdowns that were a "mistake," and regretting your purchases. That's if you even get to the mall in the first place. Miami already has the worst drivers in the nation. Now couple that with the planetary hoax and imagine trying to find a parking spot at Dolphin Mall on a Saturday. No thank you.

Going to work

We know what you're thinking: People in Miami work? Some of us unfortunately have to, but throughout the next three weeks, it might just be best to throw your papers up in the air and have an eff this attitude, because your computer is likely to crash, your emails will get lost in translation and fall into the email abyss, or you'll get into a quarrel with your boss over something you said but didn't exactly mean that way. At that point, the worst thing you'll want to do is point Mercury's retrograde out to your boss, especially if he's a skeptic. So to be safe, take as many days off as you can over the next couple of weeks and join the rest of the nonworking Miamians taking selfies at the beach on a Tuesday. YOLO.

Social media

Repeat after me: "I am going to stay away from social media till July 1." Now stick to it, for real. Mercury in retrograde is a time when electronics, especially those we use for communication, go completely bonkers. Astrologists even go as far as to recommend backing up all of your files (remember your computer crashing at work) and being extra cautious when writing emails. Be wary of your big fat thumb accidentally liking someone's picture on Instagram who you don't even follow and just so happens to be dating your ex. If you don't even know how you got to her page in the first place, it's because you're not thinking clearly, remember? Save yourself the embarrassment and download RescueTime software to block "non-productive" and, in Mercury's retrograde case, damaging websites. (Cultist, of course, is still allowed.)

Summer travel

A few weeks ago, we told you to get out of Miami this summer because your relationship is at risk of infidelity due to global warming. Yeeeaaahhhh, that might want to wait till July 2. Turns out that traveling during Mercury retrograde is about the worst thing you can do. Expect flight delays (if you manage to catch your flight in the first place), lost luggage, and the traveler next to you on the plane to throw up on your new white pants. If you already have a trip planned, you might want to make some last-minute changes to your itinerary. It might not be so bad to deal with the hot, humid, and unpredictable weather of Miami for the next couple of weeks after all.

Spend too much quality time with your boo

Planning on moving in together? Wait. Get proposed to? Say no. Meet a cute and nice guy at the bar Friday night? Don't give it up just yet. We know it's hard to tell your head (and your body) no, but it's really for the best. No major decisions, remember? Just don't let on that you're "needing your space" because of some crackpot astrologers' theory. That might end your relationship for good.

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Carla Torres found her inner gourmand voice while writing for Miami New Times in 2012. She has also worked with Travel & Leisure and Ocean Drive. She balances passions for wine, sweets, yoga, and kayaking.