Impractical Applications (Relaxing)

Earlier this week, I talked about ways that different characters tend to relax. Since I have a lot of characters who need to be decently well developed, I’ve had a good deal of opportunity to play with the concept. Most of them use hybridized means of relaxing, depending on their circumstances.

Tuyet practically got a character arc out of her relaxation methods, which were a peculiar combination of indulgence and distraction. Peculiar because, while she had started out as a non-relaxer, somehow she’d sublimated her need to do something about her many stresses into performing acts of calculated heroism as a stress relief. (Later, when she acquired a position such that she couldn’t get away with that anymore, she tried other things as psychological substitutions, leading to her demands for tea during stressful situations being something of a running joke. It never worked quite as well.) One could make the case that for her, the distraction wasn’t so much from the problem as from the difficulty thereof.

Kiara, on the other hand, had always favored distraction. This is partly a fact about one of her other defining characteristics: the inability to forget anything. If not under too much stress, she generally distracts herself with work, most often working on her organization’s backload of intercepted coded messages; if the stress is particularly work-related, she usually finds a piece of magical theory to unravel. (This led to some interesting problems when she was first recovering from her array of mental traumas—in an effort to keep her mind from being empty, particularly when she was trying to fall asleep, she’d work herself to complete exhaustion and then fall straight asleep. Nobody ever said characters’ preferred methods had to be healthy!)

Najam, meanwhile, is the meditative type. I’m not sure if it’s due to the surrounding culture, her mother’s occasional influences, or her own nature, but there you have it. In her case, though, she’s as likely to reach the cleared-mind state by dancing as by just sitting in one place and thinking. (The same goes for Kestrel, though she prefers weapons practice of various sorts.)

Then there’s Ruby. She indulges, though what she indulges in varies; she favors snuggling up to things—the more adorable, the better—but if that fails, she’ll go bury herself in Luath’s cooking. You know it’s really bad when she’s wallowing in self-pity, not just because of how cheerful she normally is but because that’s the indulgence she saves for really tough situations.

1 comment

  1. Shinali says:

    Samar relaxes by distraction, mostly. She reads, writes, sorts things out in her journal, studies, plays strategy games, or makes things, usually trifles (like socks and plushies). If she’s really really stressed she has been known to forcibly help people whether they want her help or not (a touch like Tuyet’s heroism thing but more to the physical and mental health end of things). And right now she has 3 people she can do that with. If it’s really bad she writes or crafts with fervor and intensity (the group has seen this before, when they told her about the city being killed, it was sort of a “If I am writing I am not listening and if I am not listening I will not have a nervous breakdown” thing.) Beyond that, it’s fully up to hugging a magical plushy of healing power and psychotherapy.

    Kyrie meditates (and quite to the exclusion of all else). She even meditated in the middle of a party-splitting argument where everyone went to solve things their own way.

    Kimana… I’m not sure the notion of needing to relax has ever crossed her mind. She sees the world too differently to understand that certain things should stress her and make her want to relax.

    I can’t think of any of my MCs or PCs that indulge as a primary form of relaxation, come to think of it… Which is odd because I’m a distraction-indulgence sort.

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