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 http://stpaulstrinity.org/?page_id=2100 for more information or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThriveFamiliesManual/