Coping Strategies for the Holidays

The Holiday Season is the pinnacle of the year, and this year is no exception. With the normal expectations already laid upon us, we have the added stress of trying to celebrate during a global pandemic.

With depression, anxiety and frustration at an all-time high, I want to offer you a faith-based approach, using the Enneagram as a guide to help you cope with the stress of the 2020 Holiday Season. 

With the help of my friends at Your Enneagram Coach, I have given you a brief description of each Enneagram type, what might be a source of stress for you out, and specific coping strategies for your main type. 

TYPE 1 

You are upstanding and responsible, always striving to do what you view as right. You walk through life focused on the way things should be, and seek to improve everything around you.

You might be stressed out about keeping the rules and feeling resentful when other people don’t feel as strongly about following the rules. 


“This year is a strange year, but I’m most concerned about keeping everyone well. The stress of making sure our family feels loved and connected while making sure that they stay well is intense. And, of course, as a good 1, I’m examining all our state mandates to make sure we’re following the rules.”  Amy C.


Coping Strategies For Type 1’s

  • Trust in Christ’s forgiveness and righteousness to enable you to be more compassionate and gracious to yourself and others.• You don’t have to strive for perfection to be loved and accepted. • Know that there is no more condemnation in Christ, you’ll be able to forgive yourself and others and you’ll be able to demonstrate Christlike patience while remaining principled and responsible.

TYPE 2

You seek satisfaction by trying to help because deep down, you struggle believing you are loved and wanted by the people in your life apart from the support you offer.  

You might be stressed out about keeping everyone happy and well cared for and might not recognize your own need for support. 


“Where do I begin? The biggest source of stress is that I want to keep everyone happy and during the holidays, everyone loses their minds and everyone is the least happy of any other time of year. And yet we are supposed to take pictures and seem happy and be happy. It’s not just avoiding the conflict, but it’s the things that normally work seem to break during the holidays.” Cheri G.


Coping Strategy for Type 2’s

  • Know that Christ is caring for your emotional, relational, and physical needs now and from now on. • Recognize your own needs and ask for help.  • Allow helpfulness to overflow from enjoying Christ’s love and appreciation.

TYPE 3 

You have a deep fear of being worthless, a failure or incapable, which causes you to struggle with deceit. You hide parts of yourself you don’t want others to see and only portray a successful exterior. 

You might be stressed out about feeling like no matter what you do, you won’t be able to meet the expectations of others. 


“Where do I begin? “The biggest source of stress for me is feeling like I just can’t win like my best is never good enough.  The expectations of others is stressful because of course, I want everybody to be happy, but more than that, I want the gold star that I did a good job. One of the challenges is checking all the boxes and not actually enjoying any of the holiday season.” Tonya K.


Coping Strategies for Type 3’s
  • Rest in your true identity in Christ and His accomplishments. • Take off your achieving mask so others can see and enjoy your authentic self. • Balance work and family life. • Feel, name, and express your emotions openly with others.

TYPE 4 

You bring a unique beauty, depth, creativity, and understanding to the world around you and embrace a wide range of emotions and experiences.  

You might be stressed by seeing what everyone else is doing for the holidays and you experience a sense of envy. You then feel like there is something wrong with you and despite your best efforts, you’re not doing enough.


 “The biggest source of stress is feeling there is something wrong with me, so I’m always looking at what other people are doing for the holidays and I’m always thinking I don’t do enough. When I see people posting about their family traditions, I feel envious. I think I’m not doing enough in my own life. Another thing that’s hard, is when I spend time around family or friends during the holidays, I don’t like not being able to get into a deep enough conversation. Sometimes when I’m in a crowded room, I feel alone.”  Angela G.


Coping Strategies for Type 4’s

. • Believe God loves you unconditionally, perfectly understands you, and created you exactly the way He desired— special and unique. • Let go of envy by not comparing yourself to others, and realize you lack nothing. Know that you have all of Christ’s spiritual blessings, forgiveness, and righteousness. • Acknowledge that everything that you feel is missing is yours in Christ, so you lack nothing. 

TYPE 5 

Despite your insatiable thirst for thinking and knowing, you experience the world as an intrusive and overwhelming place.

You might be stressed out by the overwhelming number of commitments and invitations to holiday events.


“One thing that stresses me out during the holidays is too many extra obligations and the expectations of others.” Delaney L.


Coping Strategies for Type 5’s
  • Deeply connect with yourself and others; use your knowledge and insight to help others.  • Know Christ will replenish your depleted reserves and take care of your needs.

TYPE 6

You are some of the most reliable, hard-working, dutiful, and steady people out there. Your dependability, sense of humor, ability to foresee problems, and fierce loyalty cause you to be incredible team players. 

You might be stressed out by too many expectations and obligations of others, increasing your anxiety for wanting to keep everyone safe.


“I always feel stress regarding people’s expectations of me vs reality, especially with gift-giving.”  Tabitha

“Almost everything feels unsafe right now. In regards to COVID and gathering, sharing food and space, but also feelings of aloneness and not having support and the security of community and connection.” Andrea


Coping Strategies for Type 6’s
  • Take your anxieties and insecurities to God, find peace in the knowledge that He is both able and faithful to care for you. • Place your trust in the Lord instead of trying to predict and control life on your own. • Understand there is never a certainty of safety and security on earth, but you can trust that God will always be there to love, protect, and provide for you. 

TYPE 7

You radiate positivity and happiness, but internally, you are always longing for more and fearful of missing out. 

You might be stressed out by wanting to do alllllll the things for the holidays, but never feeling like it’s enough.


“It’s stressful to  be criticized for spending too much/not making the dish someone wanted/ not being flexible after all the work I put into making the Holiday’s special (in other words, not accommodating everyone’s whims)” Kathi 

“Wanting to be with all the people having fun and being stuck in the kitchen cooking and cleaning and having FOMO” Brenda


Coping Strategies for Type 7’s
  • Stay in the present moment and savor the blessings Christ has given you, which produces gratitude and a content heart. • Rest in this deeply gratifying place, as you deal with sadness and disappointment with Christ’s strength. 

TYPE 8 

Your decisive and assertive leadership style causes you to be powerful change agents in the world, especially when seeking justice and protection for others. 

You might be stressed out by overcommitting yourself and trying to do it all yourself, believing it’s all on you to get it all done.


“I run into the problem of overcommitting myself because I have so much energy, but then I numb out and not really feel it. I tend to be so task-oriented that I miss out on the joys of Christmas, like being in the room to watch my kids’ open presents, and sitting down to watch a movie instead of making cookies in the background. Rather than doing it all myself, I am learning to let other people help. For example, my husband likes to cook and he has our kids contribute to the meal by giving them a special dish to make. It takes the pressure off me and everyone gets to enjoy the process.” Kelly W.


Coping Strategies for Type 8’s

*Type descriptions credit goes to my friends at Your Enneagram Coach

  • Let your tough exterior come down so others can experience your tender, gentle, and thoughtful side. • Realize that being vulnerable and transparent is actually a sign of strength, not weakness. • Rest in the fact that Christ will never betray or forsake you.

TYPE 9 

You are easy-going, nonjudgmental, and patient. You long for harmony with others and in your environments. 

You might be stressed out by not making your needs known to keep the peace and avoid the conflicts that inevitably arise during the holidays.


“Trying to keep things fun, special and memorable in the midst of a pandemic. Making sure everyone has the ‘best holiday ever.’” Bethany

“When everyone has different opinions, it’s stressful to try to make everyone happy and to keep the peace, but also make my own opinions known without .” Lori


Coping Strategies for Type 9’s
  • Bring empathy and harmony without merging with other people in the process. • Having an indomitable spirit, yet still using your amazing qualities to inspire and comfort others.

Would you like to learn how to implement these coping strategies into your daily life? Schedule a Let’s Chat session to learn more about my coaching program.

Are you curious about what Enneagram type you might be? Type “Test” in the comments below.

What stresses you out about the holidays?

What ways of coping have you found to be helpful?

Published by: Lori Young

Lori Young’s passion for God and her love for speaking and coaching have combined forces in a powerful message for women who hide the most valuable parts of themselves for the approval of others. Lori comes by this truth honestly. For years, she kept her value hidden to avoid disapproval, rejection, criticism, and conflict. Through the difficult experience of divorce, heartbreak, and broken relationships, Lori has emerged with a passion to break down what she’s learned and provide tools to help other women re-emerge to live authentically and intentionally. She is a Certified Enneagram Coach and loves coaching one on one and in group settings. You can learn more about her speaking and coaching services at loriyoungcoaching.com

Categories authenticity over approval, EnneagramTags, Leave a comment

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