April has arrived and with it the first Mercury retrograde of 2024.

Mercury will be backpedaling and troublemaking in the hellfires of Aries for the majority of the month, starting April 1 — April Fools’ indeed! — and bringing chaos through April 24.

But what does it mean for you and how can you stay productive and positive amid this planetary calamity? Read on to learn more, and make sure to check your April horoscope for personalized recommendations for rising above and soldiering on.

What is Mercury retrograde?

Mercury is named for the fleet-footed, trash talking god of messaging, pictured here as he reaches towards a chaos spiral. Andrés García – stock.adobe.com

Mercury, named for the trickster god of messaging and commerce, is the fastest-moving luminary in our solar system. Three to four times a year, the planet goes retrograde.

From our vantage on Earth, Mercury appears to be moving backward but in reality, the planet has simply slowed its proverbial roll, leaving chaos in the wake of this seasonal deceleration.

What does Mercury retrograde mean for me?

Mercury retrogrades in one, and sometimes two, zodiac signs per cycle. peshkova – stock.adobe.com

Because Mercury governs the mind and the mouth, expression, exchange, tech, and travel, when it slows down it signals snafus in these realms.

Think mixed messages, brain fog, canceled contracts, a steady stream of texts from your ex, and other such unwelcome infringements.

The wrath of this retrograde is so feared that according to Avery Morgan, productivity expert and CCO of EduBirdi, Google searches for “survive mercury retrograde” soar by +149% as the transit approaches and encroaches.

Your best bet for survival? Surrender to the cosmic flow, swimming with rather than battling back the currents of change and inconvenience. This retrograde might feel more intense than others as it falls in the “destruction reveals destiny” vibe of eclipse season.

Google searches for ‘survive mercury retrograde’ soar by +149% as the transit approaches and encroaches.

But peace is possible.

As Morgan imparts, “Retrograde periods often bring unexpected twists and turns. Instead of panicking, embrace the chaos—build buffers into your schedule, have backup plans, and stay flexible. It can be hard to handle if you’re all about control, but picture retrograde as your personal trainer, testing your limits and showing you that you can deal with far more than you think.”

Read on to learn more about how to renegotiate your limits and ride the wave of this retrograde.

7 tips to stay productive during Mercury retrograde

Take it slow

You can do anything but you can’t do everything, be gentle with yourself. Pixel-Shot – stock.adobe.com

Mercury retrograde meddles with our mental processing and can leave us feeling like we’ll fall behind if we don’t go for the grind; an anxious and ultimately counterproductive belief.

Morgan explains, “With this cosmic phenomenon, cramming too much into too little time will only lead to mistakes. You’ll waste more time going back to correct them. Prioritize quality over quantity and carefully review every email, tweet, or assignment before hitting send. Take it one task at a time.”

One task at a time and slow steps to total success.

Listen to your circadian rhythm

Sync your tasks to the rise and fall of your energy levels. buritora – stock.adobe.com

This year’s first Mercury retrograde comes hot and hostile on the heels of daylight savings time and the spring equinox, upending our sleep patterns.

As Morgan explains, “Spring brings changes in daylight hours, which affect our circadian rhythms. Rather than working against your body, sync your schedule with its natural rises and falls in productivity. Plan the more demanding and creative tasks during peak energy times and reserve the lighter tasks or breaks for when your energy levels tend to dip.”

If you’re an early bird, get your mojo going before breakfast, if you’re a night owl lean into the boost of energy you feel in the evening hours.

Treat your body, save yourself

Make time to walk it out and breathe it in during Mercury retrograde. Maridav – stock.adobe.com

Moving the body is the quickest and most effective means of shifting your mood and motivation. Morgan suggests, “When your mind isn’t feeling great, treating your body well can help. Spring is here, so strut those legs, test out a new sport, or squeeze in a morning workout. If exercise isn’t your thing, how about a massage, contrast shower, or some yoga?”

Expect turbulent communications

Be clear and compassionate in all communication during this turbulent time. kinomaster – stock.adobe.com

Mercury retrograde is an ideal time to build listening and communication skills that will serve and strengthen your relationships now and forever.

Morgan explains, Mercury retrograde and miscommunication go hand in hand. What might seem like crystal clarity is undoubtedly clouded by cosmic fog, so actively listen, ask questions, avoid criticism, get everything in writing, and make follow-ups where possible.”

For more tips on how to tackle tough conversations during Mercury retrograde, read our guidelines for communication.

Embrace monotony

Find joy in the tedious during Mercury retrograde. New Africa – stock.adobe.com

In these turbulent times, comfort and clarity can be found in every day labors that are easy to complete and blessedly devoid of mental strain.

Morgan explains, “Focus on tasks that require concentration and precision, which you typically push aside. Whether it’s organizing files, data entry, or tidying your workspace, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as you check these monotonous tasks off your list.”

Free yourself from the punishment of perfectionism

Progress over perfection, folks! Microgen – stock.adobe.com

Keep in mind star seeds now and always, progress is more important than perfection and you can and should give yourself the gift of grace particularly during Mercury’s retrograde.

Morgan expounds, “We expect so much from ourselves, but if Mercury can have an off day, so can we. It’s about time we banished our struggle for perfectionism to the farthest corners of the universe. Delegate tasks, dare to ask for support, and say no to unrealistic expectations.”

Focus on the positives and embrace an attitude of gratitude

A troubled mind is soothed by stretching. Halfpoint – stock.adobe.com

Walter Gjergja, a 32nd-generation Shaolin monk and co-founder of the personal trainer app Zing Coach, has a few key tips for staying zen AF no matter what the stars have in store. “If our mental and emotional state is difficult to control, we can focus on the body; identify physical tensions, and consciously release them through stretching and gentle practices such as qigong and yoga. A tense mind cannot exist in a relaxed body, and therefore by releasing physical tensions we ‘force’ the mind to follow.”

“A tense mind cannot exist in a relaxed body.”

Walter Gjergja

Gjergja also recommends a mindfulness practice that puts gratitude ahead of griping, “Ppend a few minutes each day jotting down three things you’re grateful for. This shifts your focus and helps you to see that there are still plenty of positives in your life, regardless of the momentary confusion.”

Stay clear, stay grateful, stay breathing. Good luck out there.

Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture, and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girl’s guide” to strip clubs, and the “weirdest” foods available abroad.

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