Caring For Your Enneagram Type

The Enneagram is a personality tool that can help us with self-understanding and growth. As we learn more about our types, we also learn more about inner wiring—what we need to rest, reset, and feel like the most balanced and grounded versions of ourselves. That’s why we love these self-care practices specific to each Enneagram number (learn your type here); they help guide us when we’re feeling overwhelmed, and they give us permission to pause when we need it most.

Have your own self-care practices for your Enneagram type that you love? Share them in the comments below! And if you’re just getting started with your Enneagram journey, check out our favorite books for further learning and resources.

Enneagram One
Embrace the imperfections.

Dear Ones, you will find rest once you find stillness. And you will find stillness when you stop trying to fix all of the imperfections in your life and in the world. Resist the constant urge to fix things, to brainstorm ways to solve every problem. Rather, let go and simply be. This moment is what it is; this world is what it is. Can we make it better? Yes. But only after we care for ourselves first.

Release your lists and well-meaning intentions. You do not need to be in control. If you’re feeling angry or frustrated, don’t dismiss those emotions. Likewise, when you’re feeling joy, let it out, express the feeling to its fullest. Then, practice silencing your mind and allowing yourself to simply be. No judgment, no to-do lists, no imperfections that need to be fixed. Stillness is your sweet spot.

Self-Care For Enneagram Ones:

  • Seek out lighthearted activities. Be playful and easy on yourself. 

  • When you feel anger coming on, don’t push it down. Let emotions rise to the surface and ask them what they have to teach you about your desire for control and order. Journal to help you process. 

  • Use a to-do list to keep your thoughts organized, but then tuck it away. Allocate a set amount of time to get things done, then rest. You don’t always need to be thinking about the next task.

Enneagram Two
Say yes to yourself.

Dear Twos, you crave connection and enjoy caring for others, especially your loved ones. Yet, sometimes, this means you forget to carve out space and time for yourself. Feelings of guilt and shame may arise when you spend time alone or put effort into self-care. Shouldn’t I be using this energy to care for others? You think.

But, as the old saying goes, we can’t pour from empty cups, which is why it’s essential you practice saying yes to solitude and yes to, well, you. Please know that your friends and family love you for who you are, not because of your availability and hospitality. Let that truth sink in, and then embrace yourself with the same warmth and kindred spirit that you offer to others. There will always be a time to care for those around you, but to best do so, you must first practice caring for yourself.

Self-Care For Enneagram Twos:  

  • Practice a daily solitude practice. Try yoga, morning walks, or embodied meditations. 

  • Do kind things for yourself throughout the day. Speak to yourself with the same love and compassion you extend to others.

  • Cook your favorite meals, curl up with a new novel, and invest in self-care rituals. 

Enneagram Three
Be honest with yourself.

Dear Threes, it can be difficult for you to practice self-care as you’re always chasing the next big project or working to achieve a new standard for yourself. You love to perform, to please people, and to play different roles in hopes of finding a version of yourself that the world will love and admire. The greatest gift you can give yourself then is the gift of vulnerability and truth. When you cease presentation and take off the metaphorical masks, quiet and stillness are waiting. So is the real you.

Look inward and listen to your true self. You’ll see that love was always there, and your need to succeed was only a mask. Allow illusions to be exposed and erased, and use moments of solitude as opportunities to return to yourself, to be honest with yourself, and to realize you are wonderful and worthy, just as you are.

Self-Care For Enneagram Threes:

  • Name your true feelings. If you’re feeling exhausted, embrace that emotion without judgment. Whatever it is you feel, allow that to be true. Resist the urge to create a false self for the sake of others or to look like you have it all together.

  • When working, maintain boundaries. Clock in and out when you’re supposed to. Avoid checking your email or addressing work-related matters outside of business hours. 

  • Try these screen-free hobbies and media diet tips for staying balanced and grounded. 

Enneagram Four
Step outside of yourself.

Dear Fours, you may believe self-care comes easy to you as you’re not afraid to “feel all your feelings.” But sometimes, caring for ourselves can look like more than wading in our emotions and embracing them at all times. Self-care can also look like stepping outside of ourselves—both literally and physically. Fresh air does one good, and embodied movement can help us feel renewed and rested.

Sometimes self-care also looks like setting personal boundaries with our feelings—especially the darker ones—and realizing that they don’t always tell us the full truth about who we are. Try this instead: practice presence and avoid withdrawal and detachment when life seems boring or mundane. Complexity is wonderful, but so is the ordinary and unremarkable.

Self-Care For Enneagram Fours:

  • Use a gratitude journal to record small joys to counteract heavier emotions and to keep you present in the moment.

  • Use embodiment for self-care, and embrace physical activities to resist withdrawal or detachment. Stay hydrated, take walks outside, and roll out your yoga mat for daily stretching and meditation. 

  • Enlist a safe person or try online therapy to help with navigating and sorting through all of your thoughts and feelings.

Enneagram Five
Unplug. Unplug. Unplug.

Dear Fives, there has never been a more perfect time in history to unplug. With more information than ever circulating the news, the internet, and social media, it’s urgent that you say yes to silence and embrace the unknown. Because the truth is, while knowledge is power, so is the ability to let go of our need for answers.

Practice self-care by silencing your mind and your phone. There, you’ll discover that the void you’ve been seeking to fill with information isn’t as empty as it seems. You’ve always had the answers you’ve been searching for. Make room for this truth and turn inward rather than soaking up the endless content and chatter.

Self-Care For Enneagram Fives:

  • Honor your love for big questions and information by journaling to help you process. Foster your love for learning with online classes.

  • Find solitude but also find community. Friendships are a wonderful gift.

  • Set healthy boundaries and resist consumption mode, as it can become a coping mechanism. Turn to meditation and mindfulness to help quiet your thoughts.

Enneagram Six
Take the calculated risks, for your own sake.

Dear Sixes, you long for security and stability—both of which feel like they’ve been stolen during this unpredictable time in history. The news and our current reality can trigger emotions of anxiety and distress for you, and your mind likely runs in circles a few times a day (or hour).

See these moments of anxiety as an invitation to stop and listen—this is how you practice self-care. Observe and accept your need for a secure environment without allowing it to drive you and without allowing it to keep you from taking smart and calculated risks. Life must go on, and your anxiety is not in charge; you are. Find the strength to take another step forward; don’t let the fear of failure hold you back. While you can’t control the world or create your desired outcome, you can say yes to this moment and to yourself.

Self-Care For Enneagram Sixes:

  • Use a routine or schedule for stability. Keep a tidy space: make your bed each morning; do the dishes. If you’re working from home, clean up your desk area as soon as you’ve clocked out. Avoid unnecessary chaos.

  • When feeling anxious, name your fears. Speak them aloud or write them down. Use meditation and breathing apps for cultivating silence. 

  • Take calculated risks to help you practice decision-making. Consider investing a small amount of funds or taking non-monetary risks that push your comfort zone slightly.

Enneagram Seven
Find adventure exactly where you are.

Dear Sevens, of all the numbers who struggle to sit still…well, you know how it is. You long for play and adventure and all the wonderful gifts this life and world have to offer. That is how you care for yourself, by packing your bag and exploring a new place. Sometimes though, you may find yourself seeking positivity and adventure as a means to escape. Because, as we know, the world isn’t all rainbows and sunshine.

You do your best to avoid pain and suffering—which makes total sense!—who wants to wallow in the bad stuff? But heavier emotions and vulnerability can also teach us about ourselves, as can sitting still and embracing the unassuming moments. That’s your self-care invitation—to be present and honest about how you feel. The future is waiting, yes, but so is the current you. And your call is to find adventure exactly where you are.

Self-Care For Enneagram Sevens:

  • Resist the urge to plan a new adventure when your current circumstances feel challenging. Secure yourself to the present moment. Use this list to incorporate mindfulness into your day.

  • Spend time outside in nature or explore your own neighborhood. Adventure awaits!

  • Practice speaking aloud your harder feelings. Be honest when you’re feeling down or scared or even angry. Sometimes the glass feels half empty, and that’s okay.

Enneagram Eight
Allow vulnerability to make its way through you.

Dear Eights, when it comes to self-care, you struggle most with inaction. You want movement, progress, activity; it’s challenging for you to sit alone and rest. More than this, the world is a complicated place right now, and you may feel frustrated and angry about the things you can’t change or control. You wish you could do something to fix the hurting; you want to fight—for the underdogs and those most impacted by broken systems.

But the world, and most notably your loved ones, need you to fight for yourself. You can do this by releasing control and choosing stillness. Immobility feels unnatural and scary, but this is where the real work begins. Pause and practice presence and mindfulness, paying attention to the space you occupy. Allow vulnerability to make its way through you and to guide you in a deeper love for yourself.

Self-Care For Enneagram Eights:

  • Take care of the underdogs through financial support and online advocacy. If means allow, donate to organizations like these: Feeding America, WHO, and Sweet Relief.

  • The urge to take action is your cue to meditate. Try these mindful breathing exercises to help process anger and frustration.

  • When you’re feeling especially antsy, go for a run or bike ride. Do something fun! Get the blood pumping to help you get out of your head and back into your body.

Enneagram Nine
Be your own peacemaker.

Dear Nines, you long for peace and, right now, the world feels anything but peaceful. You are the only number on the Enneagram that should resist too much rest while practicing self-care. That’s not to say you shouldn’t embrace stillness and solitude, but rather rest and sleep can become coping mechanisms for you as you retreat from the heavier emotions.

Don’t look away, though. Lean in and acknowledge the myriad of feelings happening in your life. Practice self-care by relying on your community and remaining alert and active. Seek out playful experiences and travel, when you can. Explore your creativity and be open and curious. Show up for yourself.

Self-Care For Enneagram nines:

  • Utilize resources and rituals to help structure your day and keep you alert. Take morning walks, exercise, explore creative projects, meditate.

  • Practice advocating for your wants and needs. Nurture your self-esteem, and voice your opinions when around others. Resist “going with the flow.” 

  • Let others take care of you.

Kayti Christian (she/her) is the Managing Editor at The Good Trade. She has a Master’s in Nonfiction Writing from the University of London and is the author of Feelings Not Aside, a newsletter for sensitive people.