What happens when Mercury is in retrograde? A guide on how it impacts your love life, friendships and even sleep

A guide to what happens when Mercury is in retrograde and how to avoid the chaos

Mercury, artwork - stock illustration
(Image credit: Getty Images / SCIEPRO)

In recent weeks you may have heard the phrase ‘Mercury in retrograde’ a lot, and as mystical and mysterious as it sounds—Mercury in retrograde is nothing short of chaos. 

You may have noticed strange feelings and happenings this month, and your June 2021 horoscope will likely have warned you to take care. But what happens when Mercury is in retrograde?

Expert Tammy Richards from Pure Optical explained exactly how the phenomenon impacts each area of our lives. Turns out it even messes with our sleep—yes, really...

A photo of MERCURY on a dark blue background

(Image credit: Getty Images / Adastra)

So what happens when Mercury is in retrograde?

Firstly, Mercury in retrograde is an optical illusion that happens several times a year. The planet Mercury rules communication and even travel. It orbits the sun 88 times compared to the Earth's 365. This means from Earth, Mercury can look as though it’s traveling backward even though it’s not. 

Tammy explains: “Mercury is the planet which rules all forms of expression and communication. As it retrogrades, communication will feel more out of control and harder to cope with.” 

So basically, Mercury can cause a knock-on effect on all aspects of our lives from travel plans to our buying habits and makes maintaining relationships harder. Worth remembering that this summer's Mercury in Retrograde is also made even more complicated due to the Ring of Fire solar eclipse. Yikes.

How can Mercury in retrograde affect work?

As we know, Mercury rules communication, and when it’s in retrograde, communication becomes harder, and there is a bigger risk of misunderstanding. Tammy advises us to take more time and be more mindful of what we are saying. She warns that misunderstandings are a very common occurrence during retrograde.

The more sensitive signs among us, like Cancer and Pisces, will also likely to take things more personally. 

Tammy says: “Try not to overthink a comment from a colleague during this time.” If you find yourself taking things more personally, and thinking back over conversations—that’s Mercury talking!

You can also expect travel delays this month, so if you’re a commuter, prepare yourself for some travel mayhem this month and give yourself a bit of extra time.

How can Mercury in retrograde affect your health?

Since May 29th you may have found yourself feeling restless and unfocused, but also tired and lethargic. This will be largely due to Mercury’s impact on your sleep pattern. You may find yourself having strange dreams and waking up in the morning feeling groggy and unrested—even if you got all eight hours.

woman having headache while she lying on bed. - stock photo

(Image credit: Getty Images / Boy_Anupong)

Mercury retrograding messes with your quality of sleep, so Tammy suggests creating a nighttime routine for yourself.

Have a bath, read a book, and have herbal tea to prepare your mind and body for sleep. Most importantly Tammy reminds us to be kind to ourselves during this chaotic time.

How can Mercury in retrograde affect your relationships?

As we now know, big decisions and plans are a big no-no this month—especially when it comes to our love lives.

We are more sensitive, prone to misunderstandings, and may find ourselves more short-tempered and that is not a good combination for a happy love life. 

“Arguments may become more dramatic, so if you find yourself arguing, try and take a step back and think ‘is this really worth it?’” Tammy says.

The signs that will have the biggest reaction to these changes are  Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio, Libra, and Gemini.

Couple Romancing Against Wall - stock photo

(Image credit: Getty Images / Nicolas Menijes / EyeEm)

How can Mercury in retrograde affect your friendships?

Much like in our relationships, it’s all about communication. The risks of arguments and fallouts are much higher.

There may be a temptation to cut friendships and invite old connections back into your life, Tammy says to avoid this but to journal down your thoughts during this time. When Mercury's retrograde is complete, then revisit these notes and if you still feel the same, then act.

How can Mercury in retrograde affect your technology?

One of the strangest impacts Mercury can have is on our tech and gadgets. Our computers are more likely to crash and our phones to break. But before you throw your laptop out of the window in anger—take a deep breath, call an expert, and remember it’s not the end of the world.

Tammy says to take frequent screen breaks, and also make sure you hit save often on your work and maybe back things up.

Though these effects all seem very daunting and frustrating, it’s not all doom and gloom. Mercury in retrograde can be a great time to reflect and reevaluate your career and relationships. Take things slower, and now you know what is likely to be negatively affected you can prepare yourself to tackle them.

Naomi Jamieson
Naomi Jamieson

Naomi is trainee news writer who writes for My Imperfect life, Woman & Home and Goodto. Naomi writes articles from fashion trends and skincare to entertainment news.