The “Fretaway.”

Ease Your Stress by Soothing Your Senses.

Aloha, Hola, Bonjour!

Dream of vacationing on an exotic beach in Kauai, Cancun, or Côte d’Azur. Imagine the sight of a shimmering blue ocean dotted with lush palm trees touching a brilliantly clear sky. Immerse yourself in the sound medley of soothing waves, native birds, and tropical music. Savor the scent of coconut suntan oil wafting amid the gentle aroma of ocean salt water. Experience the soft touch of a warm breeze as you allow velvety sand to slip through your hands. Indulge in the tangy, sweet taste of a slushy pineapple concoction topped with a bright paper umbrella skewered with juicy cherries.  

When a tropical vacation looms out of reach, you may want to try a fretaway (brief getaway at your home or office) that soothes your senses – sight, sound, scent, touch, and taste. A fretaway is a simple practice of easing stress by engaging all five senses simultaneously with tangible objects and media found on your smartphone. It yields exceptionally calming results when you use sensory elements that have research support for easing stress and anxiety.

Instructions:

  1. Find items or online media to engage each of your senses.
  2. Enhance the calming effect by using sensory elements that have research support for easing stress. See sample suggestions and research support below.
  3. Simply relax, and engage all five senses simultaneously, allowing your attention to focus mindfully among sights, sounds, scents, touches, and tastes.
  4. Remember to breathe deeply allowing your tummy to move freely.
  5. Ten minutes is a good start. 20-30 minutes will ease stress more effectively.  

Sight

Nature Scene (window with a view, artwork, YouTube video).

Sample Suggestion: YouTube Video of Nature Video of Ocean Waves 

Research Support: Nature Video 

Sound

Soothing Music (Native American flute, Celtic, Classical) or sound (ocean)

Many YouTube videos offer stunning scenes, nature sounds, and music.

Sample Suggestion: YouTube Video of Native American Flute

Research Support: Soothing Sound

Scent

Candle, cologne, or aromatherapy using essential oils like lavender.

Sample Suggestion: Sample of Lavender Oil. 

Research Support: Lavender Essential Oil

Touch

Tangible item with a smooth texture (fleece, satin, wood, your pet)

Sample Suggestion: Satin Eye Pillow (can be held in hand)

Research Support:  Physical Touch 

Taste

Your favorite treat (dark chocolate, fruit, calming tea like chamomile).

Sample Suggestion: Healthy Dark Chocolate

Research Support: Dark Chocolate 

Of course, you may personalize your fretaway to suit your own tastes. See some ideas below.

Beach Fretaway

Sight:              YouTube video or photo of a beach

Sound:           Ocean waves or Hawaiian Music

Scent:            Coconut Suntan Lotion

Touch:           Sand stored in a container with a few seashells.

Taste:             Tropical Jelly Beans or fruit salad served in a pineapple half

Christmas Fretaway

Sight:              Lighted Christmas Tree and Fireplace

Sound:           Favorite Christmas Music

Scent:            Gingerbread or Pine Scented Candles

Touch:           Plush Santa Stocking

Taste:             Homemade Christmas Cookies with Hot Cocoa

Childhood Fretaway

Sight:              YouTube video of a Favorite Childhood Place

Sound:           Favorite music that was popular that year

Scent:            Cotton Candy, Flowers, Koolaid

Touch:           Playdough, Finger Paints

Taste:             Retro candy from that era

Autumn Fretaway

Sight:              YouTube Footage or photo of Fall colors

Sound:           Native American Drums

Scent:            Burning Leaves

Touch:           Fresh Mums, Black Cat,

Taste:             Apple Cider, Pumpkin Spiced tea, or Coffee

Memorial Fretaway

(This may bring healing tears as well as calming effects)

Sight:              Photos of your dearly departed loved one

Sound:           Loved one’s favorite song

Scent:            Loved one’s cologne

Touch:           Something your loved owned or made

Taste:             Loved one’s favorite recipe or treat.

Bon Voyage!

Image is under license from Shutterstock.com

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