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Exam Survival Kits

Exam Survival Kits

Sometimes the simplest of things can be vital tools for calming our anxiety.  For participants in our Jan. 20th Thrive! Dinner, exam survival kits contained helpful tools for dealing with stress:

Werther’s hard candies

These caramel candies can actually help to calm the butterflies in an anxious stomach.  Trying to eat the candy slowly, can also help change our focus enabling us to slow down and breathe.

Hersey’s Kisses

In the midst of stress, we need to be reminded of the love and care of others.  Chocolate can be a delicious way to relax and know that we are not alone.

Sour Candies

Did you know that an anxiety attack can be calmed by something sour?  Sour candies and even the taste of lemon, can provide a distraction triggering your brain to deal with the sourness in your mouth and letting go of whatever might have trigged the anxiety attack.  A similar effect happens with holding an ice cube.

Life Savers

Because who doesn’t need a bit of life-saving sometimes?

Chewing gum

The act of chewing requires our brains to focus differently, helping to slow us down a bit.  This makes chewing gum a helpful tool for those stressful exams.

Colouring pages

When people become overwhelmed with so much to do, any tool that refocuses our thoughts and actions and slows us down can be meaningful.  There are many adult colouring books now available that can be helpful during those times when we are feeling particularly overwhelmed.


A playful eraser was included as a reminder that our mistakes can, to some extent, be erased.


To help practice deep breathing and let your worries fly away when you let the balloon full of air go.  It can also be a healthy distraction to play keep it off the ground.

Words of encouragement

We all need to be reminded that, despite the chaos around us, like does go on.  Words of encouragement help us to better appreciate the possibilities, acknowledge the gifts we have and help us to accept that challenges happen but this is not the end.

Our package included scrolls with words of encouragement, scrolls with a Bible verse: “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7), a bookmark/bow reminding participants to “trust their gifts” because “you’ve got this”, and a special, hand painted rock with words of encouragement.

The Bags

All of this was contained in a special bag made of bubble wrap and colourful duct tape.  Who doesn’t enjoy popping bubble wrap?  It is a great stress relief!

What else?

What would you include in a stress survival kit?  What have you found helpful for those difficult moments?  We would love to hear from you.

Click here for more information about the activities we did as we gathered for food, fellowship and fun to help us de-stress.

Thrive! A living manual for families uses the tools of social media and food and fellowship to facilitate conversation about the blessings and challenges of being family today.  Check out for more information or visit our Facebook page at


Earth Day

Climate change: what is normal is shifting?

Thunder in February, ice storm in April, flooding, snow, fires, hurricanes, droughts and more.  Things that were once considered rare occurrences are becoming so frequent that people are beginning to wonder if this is the new normal.  The impacts of these events are devastating for some as they struggle with power outages, flooding and more.

What is it?

Climate change is a shift in global or regional climate patterns.  Scientists have acknowledged that the pattern of change connects with human use of fossil fuels.  As a result, governments, corporations and individuals have been challenged to explore ways to reduce our impact on the environment.  These plans are often available online to help individuals and families explore what is being done.  Check out these links to find out what is happening in Canada, Ontario, Windsor and Essex township.

Why should families be worried?

Scientists have documented a notable and alarming shift in the average temperatures in the world since the beginning of the industrial age.  This increase is growing exponentially.  Based on the atypical weather patterns already experienced and the understanding of the delicate balance of nature, scientists are increasingly worried about the implications if our current consumption patterns continue unchanged.  Rising sea levels, increased intensity of storms, droughts decimating farming regions, loss of land, and more are predicted if the average temperature continues to rise.  As a result, the world our children know would be far more tumultuous than we have right now.

What can families do?

There is a Navajo saying: “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors – we borrow it from our children.”  There is lots of information available today about the ways in which our choices negatively impact the earth and opportunities to reduce our environmental footprint.  Activities in the home could include:

Grants for many of these projects are available through the various governments in an effort to encourage folks to change our habits.

Earth Day activities are one of the ways to educate ourselves on our options so that our choices will not make the world harder for our children.  Windsor-Essex hosts an annual event at Malden Park to raise awareness, answer questions and connect individuals to alternatives.  At times our efforts may feel like a drop in a bucket but remember even a drop makes ripples.  Talk as a family and decide what you want to do together to make this world better for the children who will inherit this earth.

Thrive! A living manual for families uses the tools of social media and food and fellowship to facilitate conversation about the blessings and challenges of being family today.  Check out for more information or visit our Facebook page at