Which style of rest you need, based on your Enneagram type—no naps included

August 21, 2019 at 06:02PM by CWC

If you’re anything like me, you probably have one response when asked if you’ve gotten enough rest: “Rest? Never heard of her.” In the fast-paced modern world filled with FOMO, constant scrolling, and ridiculously busy schedules, it’s rare to get a chance to rest. But here’s the deal: You need it—at least a little bit. And what works for you might be different than what works for the rest of your girl gang.


A post recently went viral across social media about nine different types of rest, ranging from taking time away to taking a break from responsibility. While it seems like a general list of great ideas at first glance, each type actually correlates with each of the Enneagram types and was put together by Stephanie Barron Hall, the Enneagram expert behind Nine Types Co.

“In May and June of this year, I was thinking a lot about rest and self-care. I wanted to write more about it, so I asked in my Instagram stories, ‘What does rest mean for you?’ Interestingly, as I read the responses, themes started to emerge around each type,” she tells me. “I noticed that many followers of the same type gave the same or similar answers. From there, I wrote three types of rest for each Enneagram type, then I narrowed them down to the most important based on my Enneagram knowledge.”

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Hall thinks the post resonated with so many people for a very simple reason: People desperately need more rest. “We’re constantly taking in a barrage of information through social media, news media, and societal pressures. We’ve learned it’s not okay to take a break, and this post reminded people that they do indeed need to rest,” she says. And figuring out your Enneagram type could lead you to a style of rest that actually fuels and energizes you enough to happily jump back into your busy schedule. A.k.a. no more feeling tired 24/7.

“Because we all have different core motivations, the same type of rest doesn’t work for everyone.” —Enneagram expert Stephanie Barron Hall

“Because we all have different core motivations, the same type of rest doesn’t work for everyone. In fact, I would argue that binge-watching TV or taking a long nap doesn’t work for most of us if it’s the only ‘rest’ we make time for,” Hall says. “The types of rest I recommended are more intentional. It’s not easy to just plop down on the couch and do them, but making time for intentional rest is more helpful in the long run.”

Although Hall is the first to admit that sometimes people might need to binge-watch or nap—The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t going to watch itself, after all!—those types of rest can act as more of a Band-Aid. “They allow us to escape from the present troubles, and we can easily put our thoughts and feelings aside while doing them,” she says. “The problem is shoving our issues to the background doesn’t solve them; in fact, this behavior can cause something like an emotional hangover. At the end of a night of binge-watching, we can still feel tired, out of sorts, and like we haven’t done the thing we truly need.”

When you choose a style of rest by Enneagram type, on the other hand, Hall says it addresses the core motivation of each type. “When we rest based on our individual needs—as opposed to choosing rest based on the needs of others—we practice real self-care and can experience true rest,” she explains.

Finding out the best way to rest is simple. First, discover which Enneagram type feels the most “you,” then try out the corresponding type of rest.


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The style of rest you need, based on your Enneagram type.

Below, Hall breaks down the nine different Enneagram types, as well as the corresponding type of rest that can help you feel like your best self. Because even though those power naps are great, they’re not always going to cut it.

One: The Reformer—needs time away

Core motivation: Type Ones are motivated by the need to be good, right, or perfect. They are idealists who see the world in terms of what could be, and they work hard to fix and improve the world around them.

Type of rest: Ones feel responsible for everything, so they need to go on vacation to unwind, have fun, and enjoy time away.

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Two: The Helper—needs permission to not be helpful

Core motivation: Type Twos are motivated by the need to be loved and wanted. They are warm and relational, using their emotional intelligence to perceive how they can help others. They work hard to be as helpful as possible.

Type of rest: Twos are constantly pouring themselves out to help others, so rest means permission to care for themselves and to not be helpful.

Three: The Achiever—needs something “unproductive”

Core motivation: Type Threes are motivated by the need to be worthy and valuable. They believe their worth is attached to their productivity and success, so they work hard to achieve and create an image of success.

Type of rest: Threes love to stay busy and be productive, so they need to just enjoy something that feels ‘unproductive’ to them, like an art project, a slow walk, or doing something just for fun.

Four: The Individualist—needs connection to art and nature

Core motivation: Type Fours are motivated by the need to find themselves and be who they truly are. They believe there is something deeply different about them. Sometimes they love being different and special, and sometimes they hate it. They are seeking depth, beauty, authenticity, and meaning.

Type of rest: Fours long for beauty and meaning in the world, so spending time appreciating art or nature feels refreshing and fuels their creativity and the pursuit of meaning.

Five: The Investigator—needs solitude to recharge

Core motivation: Type Fives are motivated by the need to be competent and self-sufficient. They believe that they must gather all the resources to survive, so they conserve their time and energy to dedicate themselves to learning and research.

Type of rest: Fives only have limited energy to give each day, so they need alone time to recharge, to learn about their unique interests, and to be free from demands.

Six: The Loyalist—needs a break from responsibility

Core motivation: Safety and security. In an effort to create the stability they seek, Sixes plan for the worst-case scenario so that they are always prepared. Because Sixes desire predictability, they are loyal and tend to commit for the long haul.

Type of rest: Sixes are concerned with their own safety and the safety of others, so a break from responsibility allows them to come up for air.

Seven: The Enthusiast—needs stillness to decompress

Core motivation: Fun-loving, quick-minded, and spontaneous, Sevens are motivated by the need to avoid pain or boredom. They see opportunity everywhere, and they can’t wait to get started on the next fun adventure.

Type of rest: Sevens are chasing the next adventure in an effort to feel satisfied, so stillness to decompress allows them to find contentment in the present.


Eight: The Challenger—needs safe space

Core motivation: Type Eights are motivated by the need to be independent and to assert themselves. They are acutely aware of the injustice around them, and they fight for truth and justice by challenging the norm and resisting control.

Type of rest: Eights spend their energy protecting themselves from being controlled by others, so retreating to a safe space where they can let their guard down allows them to breathe.

Nine: The Peacemaker—needs alone time at home

Core motivation: Type Nines are motivated by the need to be at peace internally and externally. They believe that if they assert themselves, they will cause disruption, so they merge with the ideas and opinions of others to feel at peace.

Type of rest: Nines seek peace and comfort, and being home alone offers a comfortable place where they can be themselves without feeling the need to merge with others.

Here’s what you should know about the wait-listed Japanese sleep massage that promises to help people rest. Then, try this yoga pose for the restorative break your mind and body craves.

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Author Tehrene Firman | Well and Good
Selected by CWC