When Is Mercury Retrograde Over? Just Asking, Because I'm Not Sure My Sanity Can Take Much More Of This Madness

So you've bumbled your way through a few office meetings that may or may not have been, oh I don't know, extremely important, and now you're pretty sure you're getting fired from your job at any second. You freaking went berserk on your best friend for showing up 15 minutes late to happy hour after you agreed to meet at seven on the dot, and now you've convinced yourself that the reason your significant other hasn't responded to your last text message in over an hour is because he probably doesn't love you anymore. Seriously, when is Mercury retrograde over? Because it's honestly starting to ruin my life.

Ah yes, Mercury retrograde, that amazingly chaotic time of year when the planet that rules over communication goes rogue, and we're left feeling like incompetent, dumb babies who just can't seem to get anything right. Mercury retrograde started on May 19 and will last until June 11, meaning there are still a few days to go before you can finally reclaim your sanity.

But what exactly does Mercury retrograde even mean, and why does it cause so much drama? Ask any astrologist, and they'll throw all kinds of fancy words at you to explain the phenomenon that causes our lines of communication to go haywire while the cosmos are in motion: three times a year, the planet Mercury slows down and appears to start moving backwards (it's not really moving backwards — that's all just one big ol' optical illusion), and all clear and rational thinking seems to come to a screeching halt. For three weeks at a time, we're convinced that the universe is out to get us, and you know what? It kind of is. Don't sign any important contracts. Don't make any travel plans. Operate your life under the mantra that if it can go wrong, it probably will, and prepare to feel completely overwhelmed by confusion and general annoyance. And maybe pour yourself a glass of wine, because you're going to need it.

So now that you know what you're up against, it's time to mark your calendars. The 2015 Farmer's Almanac tells us to expect another Mercury retrograde period in the fall, starting for three weeks on September 17. But just because the zodiac is going ~cuh-razy~ doesn't mean you have to. Here are a few ways to cope:

1. Take a time out

If ever there was a time to take a quick breather, it's now. With the universe acting so finicky, you don't want to risk starting any new, major projects. Instead of adding anything else to your plate, focus on what's already right in front of you, and give it your fullest attention.

2. Be direct

Go ahead — say what's on your mind! It might seem counterintuitive to attempt deep and meaningful conversation when communication is at its most fragile state, but being direct and upfront about your wants and needs will help you to avoid sending any mixed signals. Plus, it's just good practice! Come June 12, you'll be communicating like a pro.

3. Back up your hard drive

You don't really wanna tempt fate, right? Especially when the universe is being so fickle? Even if you don't believe in any of this astrology nonsense, it's still a good idea to back up your gadgets, just in case (heaven forbid) something does go awry.

4. Pour yourself some wine

I wasn't kidding. Sometimes, there's only so much you can do. And if hiding in your apartment with a bottle of $12 merlot feels like your safest option, you can bet there are others doing the same thing.

Image: Giphy