While many of us worry about the physical effects of getting COVID-19, we often forget about the stress the pandemic can have on our overall well being. It’s essential to find ways to cope with social distancing that best suit us individually, so we can make the most of the situation and avoid any long-lasting negative emotional impact.
One way to find the most effective coping techniques for you is to look for ideas that take your specific needs into account. We’ve compiled a list of ideas to help each Enneagram type feel most comfortable and energized during the pandemic.
Quick Note: If you’re feeling overwhelmed, please reach out to your doctor. Check out the CDC website for more information about coping with stress during the pandemic.
Organized, motivated Enneagram Ones are likely to enjoy activities that help them engage with their communities while making practical moves to do what they can to help. Here are a few ways Enneagram Ones may best cope with social distancing:
Staying up-to-date on community news: While watching COVID-19 news too closely can make stress worse, remaining involved in local news can help Enneagram Ones feel more connected to their community. This connection may inspire and encourage Ones to continue to invest in the world around them.
Starting a blog: Writing may be a beneficial way for Ones to make their voices heard. Whether it’s used just as a space for sharing thoughts or built into a curated, thoughtful website, Ones should create a place to speak and share with other people.
Finding a cause: Type Ones may feel more stressed by the situation if they aren’t working toward something bigger or engaging with social causes, so they should look for causes that help them intentionally work toward a greater purpose.
Social, friendly Enneagram Twos tend to enjoy doing things that help them connect with and serve others. Twos can benefit from activities that help them slow down a bit during this time. Here are a few ways Enneagram Twos may best cope with social distancing:
Learning to bake: This will allow Twos to engage in an activity that takes time and patience but yields an enjoyable (and delicious) reward. It’s a hobby that can help them connect with themselves during and others after the final project. Extra food can also be dropped on friends’ doorsteps or shared with family.
Meeting friends for weekly Zoom dinners: Twos care a great deal about other people, so it’s important that they are still regularly engaging with their social group. Having a casual dinner over Zoom or FaceTime is a great way to stay connected and up-to-date on their friends’ lives.
Hosting something more intentional monthly or bi-weekly, like a book club or a cooking class with friends: Twos tend to enjoy leading an event themselves. While others look for unique ways to engage during this time, Twos can hold a regular group meeting centered around a topic, like a book or a meal.
Goal-oriented, energetic type Threes are likely to enjoy continuing to progress in their personal and professional lives, despite COVID-19. They tend to enjoy a challenge, which may help their approach to the unprecedented situation at hand. However, they may feel a bit disconnected from others, at this time, which could cut down on their motivation. Here are a few ways Enneagram Threes may best cope with social distancing:
Setting an exercise goal: Rather than just working out for the sake of it, set a big goal to work toward over the next several months, like training for a half marathon or marathon. Having a challenging but measurable goal to work toward can make a big difference for Threes.
Working on a practical skill: Finding an area to practice and grow in, like cooking, can help Threes feel productive during this time. Plus, in a few months, they can impress others with their newfound talent.
Making daily plans: While many Threes may already think through their days ahead of time, creating an optimal routine can help Threes make the most of their time and reflect on how they were productive in a day (even in small ways).
Contemplative, creative Enneagram Fours are likely to enjoy activities that allow them to express their emotions and engage with their passions. While Fours may appreciate having more time to themselves, they must continue to find ways to process and effectively share their feelings. Here are a few ways Enneagram Fours may best cope with social distancing:
Exploring artistic passions: Expressing themselves in healthy, creative ways, like painting, writing, and more, will likely help Fours feel in touch with their most authentic selves.
Engaging with others’ art: Beyond expressing their own emotions, it can be helpful for Fours to engage with other people’s expressions, whether through reading poetry, listening to music from their favorite band, and more.
Taking time to relax: Fours may find it difficult to shut off their thoughts and feelings for a bit, especially if they’re working from home and have fewer distractions from themselves. It’s important that they step away from the analysis of their actions and emotions to relax and breathe, which can be done through meditation or yoga.
Inquisitive, curious Enneagram Fives tend to enjoy activities that engage their intellect and expand their knowledge. They are likely to enjoy having more time and space to be alone. Fives should find ways to improve their skills and exercise their minds. Here are a few ways Enneagram Fives may best cope with social distancing:
Finding books to read: Finding a good book, no matter the subject, can help Fives feel comfortable and engaged simultaneously. Books are an easy way for them to expand their thinking and challenge themselves to grow regularly.
Exploring their hobbies: Many Fives have a hobby or two that they care deeply about, like collections, video games, wood crafting, etc. They’re likely to enjoy having more time to invest in the activities they care most about.
Finding mentally-stimulating activities: Fives are likely to enjoy doing what challenges their thinking, which could be something complicated, like a 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle or something that requires more patience, like an adventure video game.
Cautious, responsible Enneagram Sixes are likely to feel encouraged by connecting with their close loved ones and having a routine. While social distancing, it’s important that Sixes avoid activities that lead them to feel more anxious and, instead, lean into what helps them feel most at peace. Here are a few ways Enneagram Sixes may best cope with social distancing:
Stay in touch with close friends and family: Sixes tend to invest in long-term relationships with the people they trust, so it’s important that they set aside time to bond with the people they’re closest to, even if it can’t be face-to-face. Something relaxed like a Zoom meeting over coffee can be an excellent way for Sixes to feel close to others.
Avoid reading too much about COVID-19: For some Sixes, staying up-to-date may be a good way to feel informed, but for most, this can quickly go overboard. The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UCSF recommends that COVID-19 news exposure be limited to 2 times a day or less to prevent feeding any anxiety about the situation.
Finding small ways to relax: Implementing time for intentional relaxation every day, through activities like yoga, coffee breaks, or just longer showers can help Sixes feel most at ease during this time.
Spontaneous, outgoing Enneagram Sevens tend to feel energized by adventure and opportunity, so they may be feeling a bit restrained during this time. Because the social distancing can be especially harmful to Sevens, given the isolation, routine, and constraint of it all is the polar opposite of how Sevens like to be, they must find ways to continue finding their freedom. Here are a few ways Enneagram Sevens may best cope with social distancing:
Zoom or Google Chat movie nights: Sevens should stay engaged with their large social groups, which can be hard without a shared activity. One of the easiest things to do with friends from a distance is to watch a movie together by starting it at the same time while on a Zoom or Google Chat. It’s an easy way to share a new experience with others without going anywhere.
Breaking out of the pandemic routine regularly: The days can easily blur together during social-distancing, so it’s important that Enneagram Sevens find little ways to break up the monotony. Doing one thing a day that isn’t typical for their specific day, like going on a hike, having virtual breakfast with a friend, or running to grab coffee from a drive-thru, can help Sevens feel freer than they might otherwise.
Making a solo trip: While Sevens may not usually travel alone, now could be a great time for them to experience new places independently. They can try camping, visiting an open national park, or even just enjoying the sights on a road trip.
Outspoken, high-energy Enneagram Eights are likely to feel pent up at home, unless they find ways to exert themselves. They tend to enjoy activities that allow them to stay in control and release a lot of energy. Here are a few ways Enneagram Eights may best cope with social distancing:
Intense and challenging exercise: The most straightforward way to help easy Eights’ energy is to engage in rigorous exercise, especially cardio. By pushing themselves physically, Eights are likely to feel more in control of their abilities and release any frustrations through their workouts.
Engaging with internet forums: Eights tend to be fairly outgoing people, who often enjoy debates or sharing their thoughts on a matter. While they can also have these conversations with friends and family, it can be beneficial for them to find a forum online about an interest of theirs to dialogue with people who share the same passion. Debating about something they care about online can be a good outlet for Eights.
Addressing any problem areas: While Eights tend to be upfront when they’re unhappy, they may be unaware, at times, of why they’re truly frustrated. It can be helpful for Eights to take time to think through the root causes of some frustrations so they can address and resolve the problem. The time they might be gaining during social distancing periods can give them a chance to process their deeper thoughts and feelings.
Adaptable, patient Enneagram Nines are likely to enjoy activities that allow them to feel most comfortable and relaxed. They may be skilled at adjusting to fit the current situation, but it’s important that Nines also make an effort to recognize and attend to their own needs. Here are a few ways Enneagram Nines may best cope with social distancing:
Being in-tune with their bodies: Meditation and yoga can be great solutions for Nines, who may fall out of touch with their own physical needs. Staying active and attentive to themselves can help Nines stay healthy during this time.
Creating their optimal routine: While Nines tend to let the day flow without setting too many concrete plans, it can be good for them to write out a rough daily schedule to avoid falling into an unintentional or unhealthy pattern.
Watching a show with a friend: Finding a shared interest to chat with a friend about regularly is a good way for Nines to remain connected to the people they care about during this time.
For more information about coping with the stress of COVID-19, as well as numbers to call if you’re feeling overwhelmed, please visit the CDC website here.
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