How Each Enneagram Type Rests and Recuperates

Everyone is different when it comes to relaxing and winding down for the day. How each Enneagram rests depends on their core Enneagram type, which also plays a role in how stressed they’re likely to get in different situations, and when they really should grab some rest and recreation so they can fire on all cylinders again. 

Here’s your Enneagram type’s most common rest activity when you need a break. 

Enneagram Type 1: Actively break from the routine

“The Perfectionist” Type 1 fears being imperfect or a “bad” person. Because of this, Type 1s spend a lot of their time striving to be “good.” They’re determined to be what everyone thinks is the “model citizen,” so these Enneagram types stress about how others perceive them.

To relax, an Enneagram Type 1 will need to separate themselves from their high expectations and just breathe. This often involves easy, tactile activities and little habits such as self-care, meditation, sipping on a hot drink or appreciating nature. Some Type 1s need to spend an entire day (or a whole week!) away from routine to feel the benefits of relaxation after overextending themselves. Type 1s don’t mind involving other people in their unwinding process, so long as they're people close to them who understand what they need.

Enneagram Type 2: Pamper yourself, not others

The Enneagram Type 2, “The Giver,” needs to spend some time away from others’ expectations to relax. Although Enneagram Type 2s are motivated by their need to feel loved and to extend their love to others, they may overdo it and feel used when others don’t reciprocate.

When Type 2 needs to step away from everything, they should spend time with people who appreciate them and make them feel loved or spend their relaxation vacation on a self-preservation marathon. The best activities a Type 2 uses to relax may include exercise or yoga, meditation, reading a favorite book, or a self-help book about self-love. They may also enjoy a solo spa day, where they focus on pampering themselves instead of putting their attention on others.

Enneagram Type 3: Focus on the physical

Enneagram 3 isn’t called “The Achiever” for nothing! These ambitious types fear failure and feeling insignificant, so they’re motivated by their need to succeed. They long for others to appreciate them and their accomplishments, so success is on the top of their priority list—even if it means they’re receiving praise from strangers over their family and friends. 

This fear of failure wears on Type 3s, and since they often ignore their physical needs, physical activities such as eating and exercising help them recuperate. Type 3s also enjoy being quiet and doing nothing since they are always on the go. That might mean watching a sunrise or sunset, hiking a trail, marathoning a favorite television show, eating their favorite snack, or listening to their favorite music, podcasts, or radio program. 

Enneagram Type 4: Find serenity

“The Individualist” is most concerned about being as original as possible. But their desire to be authentic and unique comes with a significant burden of feeling misunderstood. This misunderstanding from other people is their leading cause of stress, along with the pressure they put upon themselves to achieve artistic feats. 

Enneagram Type 4s can relax by reading, creating a piece of art, or listening to a favorite music album. Anything that inspires the  Enneagram Type 4 will make them feel detached from their problems and create a feeling of serenity. This could be as simple as an outdoor dinner with a loved one or as complicated as working on a creative writing piece that releases the tension from their day.

Enneagram Type 5: Find space to think in silence

As an Enneagram Head Type, the Type 5 “Investigator” strives to maintain a minimalistic lifestyle and keep themselves rooted in intellectual pursuits over relationships. Overall, Type 5s want to avoid being needed by others (or being overwhelmed by their personal needs), so they spend a good deal of time working on their understanding of the world around them. They’re motivated by learning and acquiring knowledge (instead of pursuing relationships), but this endless thirst for intellectual betterment can make them too tired.

Type 5s are deep thinkers, so they relax in a few ways that allow them to connect with their minds, away from the noise of society. Type 5 recuperates in multiple ways, including quiet walks in nature, reading or researching a favorite topic of intellectual interest, meditation, and a marathon of informative television programs, such as nature documentaries or historical programs. Sometimes silence is the best way for them to unwind as it gives them time to freely explore the depths of their thoughts. 

Enneagram Type 6: Find comfort in nostalgia

The Enneagram Type 6 wants to stay safe and keep their loved ones and community free from harm. Their fear of being unprepared leads these types to overcompensate for this perceived weakness. Because Type 6 is afraid they won’t be able to protect themselves and loved ones, they’re motivated by their desire to be safe and secure. This habit continues into their relationships, as they’re most happy with people who offer them support and loyalty instead of people who leave them feeling unstable. 

Enneagram Type 6’s uptight, on-edge nature makes it hard to unwind. Still, they can relax by spending quality time with their trusted friends and family members, comforting movies, shows, music, and the quiet call of nature. These types may be the most likely to return to nostalgic fishing holes or hiking trails of their youth because they associate the safe comfort of childhood with specific areas.

Enneagram Type 7: Plan something, do something

How each Enneagram rests depends on their motivations and fears, and for the Enneagram Type 7, that means doing everything in their power to avoid moments of sadness and boredom. They also fear being uninspired, which drives them to seek new and exhilarating experiences on the regular. 

An Enneagram Type 7 finds relaxation most when pursuing new ideas and activities and finding ways to avoid being bored or stuck. One such activity would be planning their next vacation or creating a travel vision board. Sevens also enjoy going out into nature and taking photos of inspiring scenery, keeping scrapbooks full of memories, and pursuing new friendships through socializing at unique venues such as museums, bars, and art galleries.

Enneagram Type 8: Keep moving

Type 8s are strong and fear vulnerability. They take to the streets with picket signs and aren’t afraid to demonstrate for a cause they believe in, so it’s unsurprising that Type 8s will stand up for themselves and others. Their main motivation is to stay in control and independent of authority.  

Enneagram Type 8s need to relax by getting active and doing. Since these activists are always searching for ways to make a difference, it can be tiring, but these energetic personality types need to keep moving! They love preparing a new dish in the kitchen, getting out and trying new exercise routines, or just getting outside in nature to disconnect from the stressful world they’re a part of.

Enneagram Type 9: Do something creative

Recuperating for the Enneagram Type 9 isn’t complicated. These personality types are most happy when they have a harmonious environment. Their main fear is to be too needy or push others away, so they strive to maintain a neutral, easy-going attitude. Type 9s want to be as agreeable to others as possible, and they’re most motivated by a harmonious environment, free of drama, stress, fighting, and discontent.

To relax, Type 9s may want to address their negative emotions and confront their discomfort in a journal. Since they’re often worried about pleasing others, they don’t deal with their emotions. So an excellent way to relax will incorporate some semblance of therapeutic release. To relax, a Type 9 may try a creative hobby that helps release emotions (such as art or music) or a night full of pampering, self-care, and favorite bites and flicks.

Final words

Because each Enneagram has different fears and motivations, relaxation techniques for each person vary. For example, while Type 1 might prefer meditating or self-care practices, Enneagram Type 4s might create something to feel relaxed. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to unwinding, and often your favorite relaxation go-to is in line with your Enneagram personality.

Cianna Garrison

Cianna Garrison holds a B.A. in English from Arizona State University and works as a freelance writer. She fell in love with psychology and personality type theory back in 2011. Since then, she has enjoyed continually learning about the 16 personality types. As an INFJ, she lives for the creative arts, and even when she isn’t working, she’s probably still writing.

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