The “Fretaway.”

Ease Stress by Soothing Your Senses

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 computer or smartphone. It yields exceptionally calming results when you use sensory elements that have research support for easing stress. See suggestions below.


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

Sample Suggestion: YouTube Video of Nature Video of Ocean Waves 

Research Support: Nature Video 


Soothing music (Native American flute, Celtic, Classical)

Soothing sound: (Maracas, birds, or ocean)

Sample Suggestions: Native American Flute, Maracas

Research Support: Soothing Sound


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

Sample Suggestion: Sample of Lavender Oil. 

Research Support: Lavender Essential Oil


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

Sample Suggestion:  Satin Eye Pillow Adorable Stuffed Puppy

Research Support:  Physical Touch 


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:           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.

Pet Lover’s Fretaway

Sight: Video of funny pets

Sound: Dog Barking Video

Scent: Bacon Scented Ball

Touch: Stuffed Labrodoodle

Taste: Bacon Flavored Candy

Bon Voyage!

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