Everyone has different go-to methods for blowing off steam. Some like to be social with close friends and forget their responsibilities for awhile and others prefer to check off those responsibilities from their to-do list, then spend time alone with no distractions or connection to the outside world. Regardless of your preference, knowing how to relax is key for maintaining optimum happiness and keeping stress levels low.
To be clear, there’s no right or wrong way to relax—just different ways. So, if you’re curious about what best recharges your batteries—or your partner’s, or your best friend’s—consider applying your Myers-Briggs personality type to the equation. (Don’t know what your MBTI is? Read this first!) We all have to honor our downtime needs, after all.
Learn how to relax in the best way for your MBTI below.
As one of the more introverted types, you like to relax alone. Nothing gives you more joy than reading by yourself or a solo pampering session with a sheet mask. That said, if you’re sorting complicated feelings about a relationship or a work project, you love selective hangouts. Inviting over your best friend or just laying low with your partner helps you unwind.
Planning a party down to the tiny details helps you relax. Not only does this sort of activity give you control of the event you want to go to, but you also get to see all your favorite people. (You don’t even mind cleaning up after the guests leave.)
ISTJs crave alone time to unwind—but only after putting to bed the work or project on their plate. You typically want to pursue an intellectual project you’ve been putting on the back burner while handling other more pressing obligations.
Your favorite way to relax is breaking away from the world to experience, explore, and learn new things—anything that distances you from your regular day job. You prefer to work hard all year and stack your vacation days for one awesome long adventure to some far-flung locale.
ESFPs will drop everything when they’re just “over it” and want a break. Nothing makes you happier than dropping a massive group text on 10 or 12 of your best friends to see who wants to meet up for happy hour on a random Tuesday when the weather is perfect. You don’t need a party, because you’ll create the party.
The best way you know how to relax is by doing something artistic that falls outside the realm of your everyday pursuits (which are also usually creative). Maybe you enlist your BFF for an at-home paint-and-pour, or you finally refinish that old piece of furniture you found at a garage sale. You’re also very physical in nature; when you’re mad or need to blow off steam, a solo workout usually does the trick.
ESTPs want three things when they’re looking for relaxation: complete freedom from structure, friends, and a favorite hobby. Whether it’s motorcycling, surfing, cooking, or traveling, your MO is to pick an activity, ask friends to join, and figure out the rest as you go. You hate planning, so you won’t plan to unwind—you’ll just do it.
ISTPs don’t answer for their whereabouts often, but especially not when they’re unwinding. You usually go off the grid for a while, only to return when you’re fully rested. Sometimes, it’s just a walk in the park with music. Other times, it’s mountain biking or swimming. But you usually need to move around and think—on your own—in order to relax fully.
ENFPs are very social creatures, but they prefer to relax with just a close friend or two. If you’re truly emotionally overwhelmed, you’ll probably want to be on your own to indulge your mood. You feel best when treating your body and soul to exactly what it needs.
INFPs enjoy solitude and often prefer to relax alone—regardless of whether the restorative session was planned or not. Perhaps you get sucked into a vortex of Netflix or read an entire novel in one setting, but whatever it is, you’re probably lost in the midst of it for hours.
You are always tending to the care of others’ needs. But when you need to relax, you like to take a break from being a rock to others. You’d much rather spend time with your closest friends, catching up and laughing, usually over a dinner or a cup of tea. For rest time, you keep it simple, social, and very still.
INFJs prefer to be alone when they want to relax; too much stimulation can really overwhelm you. You like to stay home, put on your favorite Spotify mix, and open a book. The only thing you prefer to your solitude is being quiet with the person(s) you love. You can quietly read or write for hours with a best friend or partner in tow. That tiny slice of company makes you feel full.
INTJs like to relax on their own, but with a mental task to accomplish. That’s because—even if it’s what you need most—you can only sit still if your mind is on fire. As a deep thinker, you like to let your mind wander to allow it to stumble on new revelations or interesting hypotheses. You might enjoy writing, reading, internet research or Reddit. Whatever piques your interest and allows you to identify organic thoughts works for you.
INTPs need to relax solo, or they can’t relax at all. One of the most introverted personality types throughout the Myers-Briggs system, their social life is fulfilling for short bursts, but ultimately drains them—at work, or with friends. To best relax, spend the afternoon with your phone turned off, finishing a book, or doing something else alone that fulfills you.
The best way you know how to relax is to have a fully unplanned day to spend at your disposal. You like doing whatever the mood strikes, and you hate being a slave to your schedule. When you get one of these days, you’ll usually start by reading news and then get to work at the various projects on your plate. The openness fills your heart with joy.
You struggle to relax, because you have to feel accomplished before you can do it. So, you typically like to complete a major task—planning that wedding, turning in that huge quarterly project at work—and then checking out for a good, long while. ENTJs are work-hard, play-hard types who relax best if they can snag some extended rejuvenation after rocking a major goal.