Category Archives: How to’s

Successful Job Searches During A Pandemic: Can It Be Done?

*This post may contain affiliate links.

The coronavirus pandemic has turned our lives upside down, and not in a fun way. We have all suffered the consequences of this virus, whether we have had it ourselves, experienced loss, or simply had our lifestyles altered drastically by preventative measures. No matter who you are or where you come from, you will have had to cancel plans and modify your life in the last year!

One devastating truth about the COVID-19 pandemic has been its effect on jobs. Tens of millions of people around the world have lost their jobs due to business failures and cutbacks in the past year, leaving many people in debt and feeling frightened.

Is there a way to find a job during a pandemic? Let’s get into it –

Focusing On The Right Industries

When searching for a job during a pandemic, it can be hard to know when to start. After all, none of us have ever experienced something like this in our lifetimes, how are we supposed to know?

The first step you need to take is to consider the right industries. There are certain industries that are struggling hard right now, and it would probably be a waste of time to look in those areas. The biggest one that comes to mind is hospitality such as restaurants, air travel, tourism and nightlife. 

However, while some industries are dying off, others are thriving — sometimes as a result of this situation. As bad as that sounds, it is giving people opportunities to further their career and make money. Here are a few industries to explore. 

  • Online content creation and marketing. So many companies have had to invest quickly in online marketing during this crisis. If you can create digital content or specialize in marketing, this is the right industry for you to find a job!
  • Essential services such as healthcare, cleaning and care work. 
  • Supplementary tutoring. Due to school closures, many parents are reaching out to private tutors to help their kids learn at home online. Could this be your next role?

And if you are looking for jobs in the public sector, why not check out a public sector recruitment company for more details!

Training To Supplement Your Skill Set

One other way to help get a job at this time is to do online training to supplement your skill set. You can easily complete online training courses from the comfort of your own home. Here are a few ideas for extra skills to learn during this time!

  • Languages. If you learn a language conversationally from a tutor or using an app, you can put this on your resumé and wow potential employers!
  • Content creation skills. Think: photo, film, or podcast editing. These are becoming more and more necessary in all kinds of industries, so learning these skills could really benefit you in your future job search.
  • Social media marketing. Social media is the key to brilliant marketing nowadays, so learning more can really help set you apart in the industry!

Sending warm thoughts to anyone undertaking a job search in 2021!

How Online Learning Can Unlock New Doors For Your Career (Even Through A Pandemic)

The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed everyone’s life in some way. Whether you or a loved one have battled through the virus or you’re just spending way more time at home, jobs and careers are the main parts of our lives that have been upturned. 

25% of U.S. adults say that they, or someone in their household, have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak. That’s a massive statistic. Even if you haven’t lost your job, there’s no doubt that your career will have been affected somehow. Maybe you’re working from home. Maybe you’re working less because of restrictions. Or maybe, the pandemic has put your career into perspective, and you know it’s time to try something new. 

However you’ve been affected, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The world is at your fingertips with an absolute plethora of learning options moving online. Now’s the time to embrace it! You can retrain, add to your arsenal or even explore working from home options that might not have been viable before. 

Today, we’re going to look at a few ways that online learning can change your career for the better. There’s a possibility for everyone, no matter your skill level or the size of your wallet. 

Retrain

Retraining may be the most obvious way to make the most of online learning options. If you’ve lost your job, retraining can be a brilliant way to move your career forward. Especially if the pandemic has hit your field of work particularly hard. The best way to start is to use online guides that help you navigate degree options available to you. It can be a real minefield with a wide range of degrees and qualifications on offer. Utilizing these guides means you can identify the path you need to take to get to your desired end goal. 

It’s also crucial to find out precisely what you want to do. Make a list of what you enjoy doing, what skills you already have, and what career path you’d fancy doing. Remember, don’t just think about the money you’ll make; enjoying your job sounds cliché but can change your life. 

This comes from a place of privilege, though. Not all of us have the level of financial security that allows us to explore our dreams. If that’s the case, think about finding a balance between what you want to do and a good pay packet. Or, instead of retraining, think about bumping up your CV instead to make yourself more hireable. (Check out the “Add to your repertoire” section below.) 

Once you know what you want to do and have figured out the path to take, you’ll want to choose the best course for you. Did you know the top Colleges in the U.S. now offer online versions of their classes and degrees? There’s a vast offering out there that’ll fit your budget and needs. 

Add To Your Repertoire

Taking the time to retrain in a new work field isn’t always the best option available for us. Maybe you don’t have the freedom to take time away from family obligations to concentrate on courses. Or you might still be working and can’t commit that much time to learn. 

If that’s the case, finding some simple, cheap, and quick courses that make your CV shine is a great place to start. If you’ve lost your job, then these courses will help you stand out from the crowd and help you get hired fast. If you want to go in a new direction, they can help you gain expertise in your new field without long term commitment. There’s a massive amount of these simple courses available, so try using a website that brings many of them together in one place. It saves you spending hours sifting through them on Google. 

If you’re really squeezed for cash – thanks to the pandemic, who isn’t – some websites even offer free courses and financial aid. So you don’t have to feel like there isn’t anything you can do. You don’t have to stay trapped in a job you hate. Nor do you have to feel like your skills aren’t up to par. 

Explore Unused Skills

Suppose you’re looking for something totally different or want to bump up your current pay. In that case, you can explore your unused talents! Pretty much everyone has some skill that they don’t use for money. Many of us like to keep them for personal hobbies, but if you decide you’d like to take that further, it couldn’t be easier. 

Maybe you have an Arts degree or can write like Shakespeare; there are apps available to help you find freelance work. Try something like Fiverr for a quick way to sell your skills online.

If you’re unsure where to start, try an online course directed at creating your own business. It’ll help you navigate everything that’s involved; tax and accounting can be a special kind of nightmare that online courses can help relieve. Skillshare is an excellent place for hints and tips about becoming a freelancer. The classes aren’t accredited, so they won’t find a place on your CV, but they’ll give you some much-needed knowledge. If all else fails, make the most of Youtube. It’s true what they say, there’s a video about everything on there. 

The pandemic has hit some of us more than others, and losing your job will only add to its stress. Use this guide to help you concentrate on yourself for a bit and what you want. Then, looking for a new job or career will be a little bit easier than before. 

This isn’t an exhaustive list of what’s available – if it was, you’d be here for a very long time! Take the time to find out what’s best for you and your situation. We’re all dealing with different things right now, so all our experiences are individual.

Online learning really can change your career for the better. Now’s the perfect time to make the most of it – especially the free options!

5 Ideas To Improve Your Health In 2021

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As we make our way into 2021 it’s a great time to set some health goals that help us work towards a healthier lifestyle. It’s not always easy to put your health first, what with the distractions and stresses that come with modern life. But to give you some inspiration, consider these five ideas to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

1 . Spend more time outdoors

Looking for a really simple way to improve your health this year? Spend more time outside! The great outdoors can help us to reconnect with nature, raise endorphin levels, relax and destress, plus get more exercise. There are lots of ways to connect with nature, whether you try hiking, freshwater swimming, or foraging workshops.

2. Try a sleep app

Many of us have trouble sleeping, and over time this can start to have a negative impact on health. If you’re looking to improve your sleep this year, why not check out a sleep app, like one of these:

  • Calm: This application provides a range of sleep stories and sleep meditations, to help you drift off, and improve your quality of sleep. You’ll also find background ambiance tracks and mindfulness exercises.
  • Headspace: The Headspace app offers sleep audio guides and meditations to help you deal with stress and anxiety. The app also includes some great content to help users learn about mindfulness.

3. Take herbal supplements

To give your health a boost this year why not try adding a few herbal supplements to your diet? To reduce stress symptoms and improve sleep there are plenty of options like passionflower, chamomile, Ashwagandha, or CBD. To learn more about CBD products, from tinctures to vapes, take a look at bloomfarmscbd.com.

4. Learn new recipes

What better way to boost your health this year than by teaching yourself some brand new recipes. Focus on nutritious foods that prevent oxidative stress, boost your mood, and raise your immune system. Treat yourself to a few new cook books and apps, and experiment with some new dishes. For a few healthy eating apps to get you started try Green Kitchen, Superfoods, or Epicurious.

5. Take up Yoga

Yoga is a fantastic exercise activity that can help to improve your health in many different ways. With a regular yoga practice, you can improve your posture, increase your flexibility, and build up the strength in your muscles. Yoga is also a great activity to improve your mental health; it can help you to relax and practice mindfulness. Yoga can be practiced in many ways, whether it’s in the studio, using an online class, or YouTube video. Whatever way you practice, it’s important to get yourself a good quality yoga mat.


When setting health goals it can help to write them down, and track your progress. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, de-stress, or start a new sport, there are plenty of ways to supercharge your health this year.

Get Your Finances Back In Order Sooner Rather Than Later

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Have your finances been a nightmare for you recently? It might be the case that you have reached a point where you’re not sure what you can do or where to start, but this can be dangerous. You have to get your finances back in order sooner rather than later, or you could be facing some potentially serious consequences. If you want to find out more about some of the steps that you should take, keep reading down below.

Clear Your Debts

First, I highly recommend you figure out how much you owe, who you owe it to, and figure out a way to start clearing them. If you’re not going to be using a scheme like DTSS Complete Freedom, then it’s important you start creating a debt management plan quickly. The people that you owe money to simply want it back, and if you go to them with a proposal that makes this happen, even if it takes a little longer, they just might accept. They are much more likely to accept if you go to them with a solution for your debt rather than them having to chase you.

Hire Some Help

The next thing that I recommend is that you hire some help to aid you in managing your finances in future. Hiring a personal finance advisor or an accountant could be exactly what you need to keep you from future budgetary predicaments. They will be able to provide you with expert solutions and help you more effectively manage your money in the future. If you don’t want to get into financial trouble again, this is a solution that is well worth looking into.

Live Within Your Means

You should also learn to live within your means. If you are so used to buying what you want and doing whatever you want without ever worrying about money, this might be a little tough for you. I understand that you might need time to adjust, but it’s important that you get a handle on this now. Work out what your budget is, and then be careful to stick to it. Some people have never lived on a budget before, or at least not one like the one you’re going to have to create. Just remember that financial situations can always change, and this isn’t going to be forever.

Don’t waste time thinking that things will sort themselves out; they won’t. Take financial action now!

P.S. Learn the 5-part money hustle.

Three Ways To Stay Motivated and Achieve Your Health Goals

Many of us set goals to be healthier, however,  think back to how many times you have said ‘I’ll start tomorrow’ or ‘ After the weekend’. Sometimes we fall short of achieving our goals simply because we don’t know where to start. Being healthy is hardly a SMART goal

Although you may have good intentions with this goal, and you may even follow through for a while, it can be far too easy to fall back into a bad routine. Especially when your goal is so broad and vague. 

From researching specific things like ‘what is EGCG’ or ‘Fat burning workouts’ to shopping for fresh food so that you can have an attainable meal plan, there is no denying that a little organizing is needed to succeed. 

There are ways to remain motivated though, have a look at three of them below: 

Have A Plan 

When you decide on your goal, whether it’s losing weight, gaining a positive view of your body, or eating healthier, it will be far easier to stick to if you put together an in-depth plan. Doing this, will help you to see the bigger picture and also provide you with the steps on how you can work towards your goal on a daily basis. 

For instance, if your overall goal is to eat your 5 A Day every day, make sure you do things like create lists of the fruits/veg you want to shop for, the recipes you need to follow, and meal plan/prep to set yourself up for success. And if your plan is to run a 5k, piece together a routine by blocking out days and times in your calendar when you’ll train. When you put together your plan, a great way to stay motivated is to also make a list of how you’ll feel once you have achieved your goal. 

Celebrate And Track Your Progress

Making your plan is a great place to start, however, when you track your progress it can serve as the best way to stay motivated. 

Keep track of things like your successes, progress, better mood, increased energy levels etc. (Create a sticker chart! Who doesn’t love getting a sticker?) Keeping track of your progress can help you to see results in real time and are perfect for looking back on when you feel unmotivated or like you’re falling behind. In addition to this, tracking your progress can help you know when to reward your progress in a bigger way. If you manage to get your 5 A Day in for 30 days in a row, think about treating yourself to a vegetarian feast at your favorite Indian restaurant. Ticked off every day on your Couch to 5K program? Maybe you purchase a new pair of running shoes. 

Switch It Up 

Lastly, but certainly not least, one of the great ways to stay motivated is to look at different approaches. When you feel like quitting, ask yourself, “Is there a way I could switch things up that would make me feel more inclined to stay on track?” 

Eating the same food or doing the same exercise over and over can get very boring. Can you host a potluck with your friends and ask them to bring their favorite dishes featuring fruits & veggies? Make sure everyone brings the recipes and swap them around! Sick of your running routine? Can you try a new route or invite a friend along? Sometimes a new perspective or a change in routine is all we need to stay committed to our goals. 

How do you stay motivated when it comes to your health goals?

P.S. My Top 4 Healthy Lifestyle Intentions

Selecting Mantras to Guide Key Areas of Your Life

I love mantras… And over the years, I’ve shared some fun ways for you to adopt your own. I’ve asked folks to share their favorites, created a 30-day challenge (with accompanying actions), and even pulled a few from a much-loved novel.

Sometimes I use mantras as motivation to keep going when I want to quit, other times they help me celebrate what I’ve already accomplished. It’s comforting, no matter what you use them for, to have a few words that you can pull out of your back pocket at a moment’s notice. Something concrete to focus your thoughts on when the abstract is causing your mind to spin and spiral.

Recently, I tried out a new way of identifying mantras for key areas of my life. I found the process to be a lot of fun and the mantras I came away with have become like little beacons of guiding light in these ever-stressful times.

Want to learn how I did it?

Step 1:

Make a list of 5-10 of your core motivations. These are the key areas of your life that are important to you. Think: Your career, partner, family, hobbies, earning more money, paying off debt, or traveling the world. 

Step 2: 

Identify your core values. 

Take a look at the list above. Write down every value from the list that resonates with you. Don’t put too much thought into it. If you think of a word not on the list that embodies one of your values, write that down too!

Step 3:

Now you’re going to create a column for each of the motivations you identified in Step 1. Then place each of the values you wrote copied down into the column that you think it best fits. For example, if you identified COMMUNITY as one of your core motivations, you might pull ACCEPTANCE, FUN, and LOYALTY from your values list and place it in this column. 

Step 4: 

Look at each column. What is the value that stands out the most to you in each of your lists? Go ahead and highlight or circle it. These will be the root words for each of your mantras. For the example above, you might highlight FUN because that is what you value most when seeking out community.  

Step 5: 

To create each of your mantras, you’ll want to add some sort of action to your root word. In other words, FUN can become —> Seek out fun people, experiences, and conversation. If you also identified having a HAPPY HOME as one of your core motivations and chose SIMPLICITY as your root word, you might write —> Make space for simplicity. These are now your Community Mantra and your Happy Home Mantra. 

Step 6: 

Find ways to display your new mantras where you’ll interact with them regularly. Here are two options I implemented after doing this exercise — 

  • Decorating an index card for each of my mantras and tucking them inside a drawer that I go in frequently. On some days I might just see the top card, but on other days I pick them up and flick through them as a way of grounding my day. 
  • Creating a Mantra Board in Asana. I use Asana as a project management tool for my work, but I created a board to “pin” my motivations. Under each motivation, I have the mantra I created, and then some inspiration pictures (like a vision board!). For instance, one of my motivations is TRAVEL (“Take the next adventure.”) so I added a picture to represent a Summer 2021 trip as well as a picture of somewhere on my bucket list. 

If you follow the steps, I’d love if you would share one of your mantras below! xoxo

P.S. How to wind down, and 15 date night ideas.

Looking Ahead to the Holidays: 4 Ways to Ensure You Enjoy Your Christmas Break

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It’s still a few months away, but a lot of us are beginning to get the itch with regard to Christmas. Some people love the holiday; some people just enjoy the time off work or the extra opportunity to spend time with friends and family. Wherever you fall, it’s a wonderful time. 

This year, more than ever, you might be feeling the pressure to make the most of the holiday season. With so many cancellations and disappointments these last few months, I am certainly ready to get jolly. If you’re feeling the same,  here are some things you can do in order to ensure you enjoy the holidays when they hit later this year!

Appreciate the Break! 

If you’re able, schedule some time away from work — even if it’s just for December 25th. For many folks across the globe, work has moved in to their homes and it can be hard to set up strong boundaries between when on-duty and when off. Work and home life may have grown a bit too close for comfort these last few months. Start planning now to get time off in place.

Just Spoil Yourself – You Deserve It

You’ve likely been quite frugal these last few months. Maybe this has been due to job change/loss or simply because you haven’t been able to travel or hit the shops. But if there’s a time to spend money on yourself and buy things you like, it’s Christmas. You’ve probably had your eyes on something. Do what you can to in the weeks ahead to set a little something aside so that you’re able to treat yourself in honor of the big day.

Think About Doing Things For Others! 

Doing special things for your friends and family around the holidays always feels great. Perhaps you want to throw an Ugly Christmas Sweater party and treat your whole family to something from UglyChristmasSweater.com or maybe you want to hand-make gifts for all your co-workers or hit the Black Friday sales so you can nab a few great deals for presents for the kids. It’s a time for caring about others, so be sure to start brainstorming now about gift ideas. 

Do Something For Those Less Fortunate  

Unfortunately, there will also be people out there who have very little at Christmastime…especially this year. Now is a great time to sit down with your family and decide ways you could give back this holiday season. If you’re low on cash yourself, could you give of your time? Or open your home to friends who may not be feeling so merry? If you’re able to give, how would you like to spread the Christmas cheer? If you start planning now, the more creative and intentional you can be!

A great holiday season is possible! We can all secure an enjoyable Christmas. All it takes is a little bit of looking ahead and planning. xoxo

P.S. And while we’re in the Christmas mood… a Christmas Cookie Round-Up!

Positive Practices for Mental Health Based on Your Enneagram Type | Types 7, 8, and 9

If you’ve been following along in this series (first post HERE), I’ve been really into reading about the ENNEAGRAM lately. This has brought about a desire to use the knowledge I’ve gained about my type to help me get through all the ways this crazy world we’re living in is bringing about anxiety/stress. What I’ve found has been wildly helpful!

Again, if you’re totally new to the enneagram, I would encourage you to check out some of the great resources available online about the types and how to type yourself.  I’d also recommend checking out Beatrice Chestnut’s book The Complete Enneagram, as well as The Honest Enneagram by Sarajane Case (who also has an instagram account and a podcast).

If you too have been obsessing about all things enneagram as of late, consider identifying some of the downfalls inherent in your type and then adopting a few positive life-practices to help you combat them.

To help, I’ve listed some examples below based on my readings of each type. I’m not saying these are the ones you should go with — they’re just a jumping-off point. They might not ring true for you and where you’re at or how you show up as an individual type. They are simply meant to inspire you to find a few of your OWN practices!

Today let’s talk about TYPES SEVEN, EIGHT, & NINE —

Enneagram Type Seven:

Positive Practice #1 – As different impulses and desires pop into your head, write them in a journal.

Get in the habit of recognizing your impulses by taking the time to jot them down in a journal. Instead of acting immediately upon each of your desires, this will give you the chance to reflect and evaluate whether it is something that will truly bring you happiness. Learning which impulses are worth acting on will take time, but the fun thing about having a written record of them is that you’ll be able to notice trends. Are you more likely to crave a certain thing when you’re upset? Are you procrastinating? Finding these trends can help you sort out what’s really good for you and what’s a distraction.

Positive Practice #2 – Reserve some time each week to “single task” or to do something you enjoy without external stimulation. 

Sevens can sometimes mask their anxieties by surrounding themselves with people. If no people are available, they might pop on the television or turn the music way up. But welcoming some silence, or at least some alone time, will help a seven to trust themselves and their feelings. To make this easier, schedule something that you truly love doing so you won’t mind doing it by yourself. And if possible, leave the TV set off and the headphones at home.

Positive Practice #3 – Set long-term visions and then work backwards to turn them into a plan.

A seven may go after a goal full speed ahead without thinking about the long-term consequences. To mitigate against possible disappointments or unhappiness, sevens may need to take a different approach when it comes to goal setting. You’re very good at going after things and getting what you want — and that’s a good thing! But what you achieved may not be what you want forever. So when goal-setting, cast a vision for your future. What do you want your life to look like in five, ten, twenty years — we’re talking the whole picture here. Now work in reverse to develop the plan that will help you achieve that vision.

Enneagram Type Eight:

Positive Practice #1 – Practice letting others take the lead when in low stakes situations.

Here’s the deal — eights love taking control of a situation and exerting their power. However, if you want true loyalty and security from the people around you, it means showing them you don’t always have to be at the front of the pack. Identify areas of your life or decisions that you feel are low stakes enough that you’re happy to be a follower instead of a leader. This will be different for everyone, but will go a long way in securing trust from others.

Positive Practice #2 – Say yes to opportunities that allow you to inspire and uplift other people. 

While eights are self-reliant and independent, they feel most powerful when they’re able to energize and encourage other people. Even better if they’re able to help others through a crisis. Eights can be “yes people” so it can be helpful for you to filter through requests by asking yourself if this opportunity will allow you to motivate, encourage, and inspire. If so, go for it!

Positive Practice #3 – Find ways to include others in your successes and celebrate them. 

Again, because you’re independent and have a perception of yourself as the leader of the pack, you may not take time to recognize the people that have helped you when you achieve something great. But as we all know, it’s lonely at the top. You’ll enjoy yourself so much more in the happy times if you make a point to recognize the contributions of others and include them in celebrations. Think: going out to dinner with the whole team when you snag that big deal.

Enneagram Type Nine:

Positive Practice #1 – Get in the habit of making decisions or forming opinions on your own so you can stick to them when you’re with others. 

Nines have a tendency to go along with the group majority. They love to keep the peace and make sure everyone is getting along, so why rock the boat? However, a true relationship means showing up as yourself — even if you disagree on something. Because your instinct is to follow the crowd, take some time before you’re in said crowd to sit with yourself and form your own opinions. This way when someone asks what restaurant you want to eat at, you won’t have to respond with, “Whatever everybody else decides is fine!”

Positive Practice #2 – Send follow-ups after big group conversations to encourage yourself to stay focused. 

Because nines are in the habit of not exerting themselves socially, they can sometimes tune other people out, disengage, and start to day dream. To stay focused as an active participant, set a challenge for yourself that you have to send at least one follow-up after a group social engagement pertaining to the conversations that were had. Something as simple as “You mentioned xyz the other night so I thought you might enjoy this article on abc” is not difficult to do, but setting this goal will help you pay closer attention when in big groups.

Positive Practice #3 – Schedule regular cardio and strength sessions. 

Exercise can help you play out emotions you might be suppressing. For nines, that emotion is often anger. What better way to get out aggression in a healthy way than by strapping on sneakers to pound the pavement or lifting heavy dumbbells? Regular exercise can also help a nine with body awareness, concentration, and self-discipline.

P.S. Enneagram Types 1 – 3, right this way! Are you an Enneagram Type 4 – 6? Check out this post.

Positive Practices for Mental Health Based on Your Enneagram Type | Types 4, 5, and 6

As I mentioned in the first post in this series (HERE), I’ve been really into reading about the ENNEAGRAM lately. This has brought about a desire to use the knowledge I’ve gained about my type to help me get through all the ways this crazy world we’re living in is bringing about anxiety/stress. What I’ve found has been wildly helpful!

Again, if you’re totally new to the enneagram, I would encourage you to check out some of the great resources available online about the types and how to type yourself.  I’d also recommend checking out Beatrice Chestnut’s book The Complete Enneagram, as well as The Honest Enneagram by Sarajane Case (who also has an instagram account and a podcast).

If the enneagram is old hat to you, consider identifying some of the downfalls inherent in your type and then adopting a few positive life-practices to help you combat them.

To help, I’ve come up with a few examples based on my readings about each type. I’m not saying these are the ones you should go with — they’re just ideas. They might not ring true for you and where you’re at or how you show up as an individual type. They are simply meant to inspire you to find a few of your OWN practices based on your type!

Today let’s talk about TYPES FOUR, FIVE, & SIX —

Enneagram Type Four:

Positive Practice #1 – Set working hours and stick to them. (Sleep schedule and exercising regularly are of equal importance.)

Fours often find these two things to be true — 1) they prefer to do things when they’re “in the mood” and 2) they are actually happiest when they’re working (ie. realizing their full potential). This leads to a rather classic self-sabotage — not being “in the mood” to work but then being unhappy because of not working. You won’t find that full potential, or happiness, just waiting around for inspiration to strike. (And while you’re at it, set a sleep and exercise schedule too. Self-discipline works well for a four, who values individuality and freedom, because THEY are making the rules. Use this to your advantage!)

Positive Practice #2 – Small actions will eventually snowball — break your to-do list down accordingly.

You are very in tune with your feelings and view most things through the lens of how they make you feel. Getting things done or helping a loved one creates enormous reactions and emotions from a four. But in the same way, a really big task will create a huge sense of overwhelm and thus, inaction. When looking at tasks that aren’t broken down into smaller chunks, you might get the sense that you don’t have your life together and you never will. But starting small and working through things step by step allow you to feel productive and good.

Positive Practice #3 – Get in the practice of cutting off the “rehearsals” in your head.

As a four you have a very active imagination! This is super helpful to so many things and a huge part of what makes you YOU. But it can start to be harmful when you let the conversations in your imagination run wild — especially if those conversations are excessively negative. You start thinking about what you would say to someone, how you could hurt them, or who is talking about you behind your back and what they’re saying. When you notice this is happening is there something that can help pull you back into reality?

Enneagram Type Five:

Positive Practice #1 – Adopt both a breath practice (meditation or yoga) and movement practice (jogging, dancing, etc).

Fives can be really intense and a little bit high-strung. You might find it difficult to relax because you have so much nervous energy pent up inside of you. Exercise that’s more cardio focused, like running or dancing, can help you chill out in a healthy way. A movement practice gives all that energy a place to go. You might even find that daily exercise is key to achieving the chill time you need. But balancing a regular fast-paced workout with an occasional focus on breath, even if it’s just 2 minutes of meditation to start your morning, can be super grounding for fives.

Positive Practice #2 – Invest time into one or two intimate friendships and seek their advice and counsel regularly.

Schedule get-togethers with your close friendships on a routine basis so that you’re more likely to follow up. As a five, you might prefer isolation. Especially if you sense the possibility of conflict. Because fives are careful about who they trust and open up to, navigating a ton of surface-level friendships and acquaintances isn’t always worth it to you. So invest your time and energy into just a few and work to build these relationships to a point where you feel comfortable working through the inevitable conflict that could arise. Ask these close friends if you could set up a weekly dinner date with them; get it on the calendar.

Positive Practice #3 – It is easy to get carried away with all your developing interests — set aside time for research and time for action.

Sticking with the scheduling theme, fives might find it helpful to block off time to let their whims run wild. A five loves a rabbit hole and will research new subjects all the time. But this can become a distraction to their day-to-day accomplishments. If, instead, you have set times during your week to explore whatever your heart desires, it can be easier to keep trucking through your to-do list when a great idea hits you. You’ll know that you have plenty of time to look into this new interest at 5 o’clock or whenever your planned research time happens to be.

Enneagram Type Six:

Positive Practice #1 – Channel your anxiety into productivity and creativity.

When sixes are able to reassure themselves that their anxieties are normal, they can be more present within their tensions. Their anxieties can become almost energizing. When anxiety crops up, sixes should turn to their to-do lists and creative pursuits. Have outlets at the ready — like a bin of craft supplies or tools for an ongoing home renovation project. When your brain starts rolling out worst case scenarios, acknowledge them, and then pick up the paintbrush or screwdriver.

Positive Practice #2 – Start a self-love journal where you can write down things you like about yourself and things in your life that make you happy.

Sixes can be extremely pessimistic when they let self-doubt and negative thought patterns take over. As a six, you might project what’s going on in your head on reality. To encourage a positive outlook, begin to identify the positives in your everyday life. Reflecting on the things that are going right in your world will help you start to cast that vision on a wider scale and negate your glass half empty tendencies.

Positive Practice #3 – Be intentional with showing people your appreciation for them.

Think: texting your best friend how much she means to you, sending a card to your mom just because, or taking your kid out to eat one-on-one when they’ve done something you value. Sixes are very skilled at getting people to like them, and because of this (plus, fears of rejection), aren’t always overt or vocal about their feelings and commitments. Challenge yourself to show someone how you feel about them at least once a week.

Ok, enneagram-obsessed loves! I hope this helps you use the information about your type to your advantage. It might take you a while to settle on the practices you want to adopt, and that’s ok! Once you do, I know they’re going to have a positive impact on your life! xoxo

Keep an eye out for the final post in this series where we’ll explore Types 7, 8, and 9! Thanks for reading!!! 

P.S. Are you a Type 1, 2, or 3 and you missed my last enneagram post?? No worries. You can read it HERE! xoxo

Positive Practices for Mental Health Based on Your Enneagram Type | Types 1, 2, and 3

During the last few months of lock-down/quarantine/(whatever you want to call it), I’ve done a lot of reading about the ENNEAGRAM. This isn’t necessarily a new obsession, I’ve been interested in it for the last few years. After working with my mom (who has done enneagram trainings for her job in pastoral care) to type myself as a 9 and reading Beatrice Chestnut’s book The Complete Enneagram, I’ve been consistently seeking out enneagram content.

But recently, I’ve really been exploring the idea of using the knowledge about myself that the enneagram offers to my advantage. Even though so much of the enneagram involves being faced with the aspects of yourself that aren’t so pretty (hi, I’m a 9…most commonly known for being lazy…yikes), it’s power comes from what you do with that information.

If you don’t know anything about the enneagram, there are a ton of great resources online to learn about the types and type yourself. I’d also recommend checking out Chestnut’s book (linked above) as well as The Honest Enneagram by Sarajane Case (who also has an instagram account and a podcast).

If you’re already up on this whole enneagram biz (and you love trolling IG for memes about your type LOL), I would totally encourage you to try taking it to the next level by identifying some of the downfalls inherent in your type and then adopting some positive life-practices to help you combat them. Doing so myself has been wildly helpful during an otherwise very stressful and scary time in the world.

To help get you started, I’ve identified some positive practices based on my readings about each type. I’m not saying these are the ones you should go with — they’re just ideas. They might not ring true for you and where you’re at or how you show up as an individual type. I just want to inspire you to find a few of your OWN practices based on your type!

Let’s start with TYPES ONE, TWO, & THREE — 

Enneagram Type One:

Positive Practice #1 – Take time for yourself to relax without any responsibilities.

Think: a solo afternoon outing, a solo night in, or solo weekend getaway. Ones put a lot of pressure on themselves to make sure things go to plan. But it can be stressful to be around other folks who have differing opinions about the right and wrong ways to enjoy whatever adventure or vacation you’ve mapped out in your head. Things will go a lot more to plan if you’re the only one you’re planning for. Give yourself that space every once in a while to relax without feeling like the world depends on you.

Positive Practice #2 – Set reminders that allow you to be patient instead of continuously following up.

Ones have an incredibly strong sense of right and wrong and are extremely self-disciplined. Others might not respond or take action to your requests as quickly as you may like. Because the one is also a great educator, they can view reiterating themselves and trying new approaches as helpful — when in fact this may have the reverse effect and cause the other person to shut down completely. (Which will stress a one out even more!) Instead, channel your love of planning and map out your follow-ups in your calendar.

Positive Practice #3 – Join a group that lets you display and discuss your emotions without fear of judgment.

Think: book club, film club, or any group that allows you to have conversations about the realities of humanity. Because ones are often uneasy with emotions, it can be beneficial to discuss things like how a book or movie made you feel in a group of people who are doing the same. This can help you identify emotions and emotional impulses better in your own life and help you feel more at ease about the messy aspects of being human.

Enneagram Type Two:

Positive Practice #1 – Set up a practice of asking others what they need.

Twos are known as “The Helper” for a reason — you love to help and you’re largely very good at intuiting what people need. That doesn’t mean it is what they want. And if they don’t, that’s not a reflection of you OR a rejection of you. You can and should still lean in to this “helping hand” side of yourself though. When the urge arises, do your best to make this your first step — state your intentions, “I’d like to help,” and then ask, “what can I do?”

Positive Practice #2 – Start a journal to document the “gifts” you receive every day.

Think: Gratitude Journal. Twos tend to place value on how what they’re giving is perceived, instead of looking to what they are receiving. You might not even recognize something as a “gift” because it is not something you would give or you wouldn’t give it in the same way. The more you can start noticing all that you are receiving in your life (by jotting it down in your journal), the better you will become at recognizing all the love in your world.

Positive Practice #3 – Invest your time in a service opportunity that is just for you.

This is something that is just for you — not something you know will garner public recognition or a lot of “likes” on your social media feeds. Think about your own interests and how you can give back within those worlds. Maybe you enjoy being around kittens so you sign up to foster or volunteer at a local animal shelter. The more you find fulfillment in something BEYOND just a general sense of helping, the more likely a two will resist the urge to call attention to themselves and their good deeds.

Enneagram Type Three:

Positive Practice #1 – Make time for one-on-one interactions with your loved ones.

Threes need to feel truthfulness, loyalty, and cooperation in their relationships. However, they are also fantastic multi-taskers who are always GO GO GO. Because of this, you might turn to big group outings or group vacations with your friends and loved ones to knock out that quality time all in one go. Resist this urge. Instead, slow down and really connect with the folks you care about without a bunch of other people and distractions around.

Positive Practice #2 – Schedule breaks throughout your day.

You are susceptible to burn-out and exhaustion because of a singular focus on your goals. Threes are super ambitious and value self-development — great qualities! But they also need to take breaks if they want to reach their full potential. Make sure you’re setting aside time during your day to step away from work and your personal to-do list — try the pomodoro approach or just set a few alarms in your phone to signal when you’re going to take a ten minute breather.

Positive Practice #3 – Get involved with a group project that has nothing to do with career advancement.

Again, threes are highly skilled multi-taskers so they might sign up for their office’s kickball league and think, “Cool, this will help my likability standings at work PLUS knock out a workout and be my weekly socialization time,” only to find they’re miserable every Thursday during the matches because they actually HATE kickball (and their co-workers who joined the team). If you’re going to focus so much of your energy on career, you should look for some outlets that are outside of work (and build relationships with people who have nothing to do with your next promotion) where you can take a little pressure off of that side of yourself.

Ok, enneagram-obsessed loves! I hope this helps you use the information about your type to your advantage. It might take you a while to settle on the practices you want to adopt, and that’s ok! Once you do, I know they’re going to have a positive impact on your life! xoxo

Keep an eye out for follow-up posts with ideas for the rest of the types! Thanks for reading!!!