Looking after yourself
Stay well on your holiday by eating well. Breakfast is the most important meal of your day and you shouldn't skip it, even if you're sleeping in. Here are some easy to prepare, quick but healthy breakfast ideas:
- fresh fruit and a wholegrain cereal with reduced fat milk
- toast with a thin spread of margarine
- cheese and tomato on toast
- hot or cold reduced fat chocolate milk
- rolled oats and sultanas with reduced fat milk
- baked beans on toast
- have orange juice with any of the above
Make sure you get lots of fresh fruit and veggies into your diet. Salads are a quick and easy side dish to accompany any meal. A stir-fry with lots of veggies is another quick and healthy meal. Most importantly, the food you eat should be varied and balanced.
A good way to make sure you and your housemates all get fed is to draw up a roster that gets a couple of you to make breakfast or dinner each day - depending on how many of you there are, this might mean you get fed each day in return for only having to organise one breakfast or dinner for everyone else!
Slip, slop, slap!
Sunburn can occur in less than 15 minutes and can take a few days or weeks to heal depending on the severity. Worst of all, it also increases your risk of getting skin cancer down the track. There is no cure for sunburn except time and patience. Mild sunburn can be treated at home, but severe and blistered burns need prompt medical attention.
Remember to 'slip-slop-slap' whenever you go out in the sun - slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat. Wear sunglasses too, since UV radiation can also hurt your eyes. Avoid being out in the sun between 11-3pm and don't forget to reapply your sunscreen every two hours for maximum sun protection.
Dealing with hangovers
Hangovers are nature's nasty way of telling you that you drank too much alcohol for your body to process. Symptoms may include an upset stomach, headache, nausea, fatigue, dizziness and a mouth that feels and tastes like the bottom of a bird cage. Basically, all these symptoms are down to plain old dehydration. The best advice points to preventing a hangover all together. Make sure you eat well before you start drinking alcohol, and keep your body well hydrated by having a non-alcoholic drink (preferably water) between alcoholic drinks.
When you drink alcohol, you flush many of the necessary vitamins and minerals out of your body, especially vitamins B and C, so having a Berocca both before and after drinking is an option some people swear by.
There's a lot of myths circulating about what will help you to sober up - cold showers, strong coffee, vomiting - but the only thing that can help you to sober up is time. There's also a lot of mythical hangover remedies such as 'drinking the hair of the dog' (which means waking up and continuing to drink alcohol). The only thing that this will do is delay the onset of your hangover, and when it comes eventually, it'll be ten times worse!
If you do have a hangover, the best thing you can do is re-hydrate your body by drinking lots of water. You can also try drinking fruit juice, a sports drink or soft drink as the sugars in these can help give you a bit of energy and may make you feel a little better. Try to eat something if you can and get plenty of rest. Take some aspirin for a headache.
If you or a friend can't stop vomiting, see a doctor or healthcare professional for advice.
Dealing with constipation
During schoolies, your regular routines for eating, drinking, exercising and relaxing are most likely going to be disrupted. This may cause constipation. The most common causes of constipation include a change in routine, not enough fibre in the daily diet, not enough fluids and lack of exercise.
To avoid or alleviate the discomfort of constipation, increase the amount of fibre in your daily diet. Avoid eating fish and chips and hamburgers all week or you will pay for it! Good sources of fibre include wholegrain cereals, fruits, vegetables and legumes. Eat plenty of these each day and you'll be fine.
If you're suffering from constipation, reduce your intake of foods such as milk, cheese, white rice, white flour and red meat, because they tend to contribute to constipation. Drink more fluids but it's important to restrict the intake of diuretic drinks such as tea, coffee and alcohol. Take a fibre supplement if necessary and get some exercise. A 30-minute walk is all you need each day.
Seeking medical advice
Sometimes you may need more than just rest, water or good food to make things right. It's important to seek the advice of a health professional such as a pharmacist, nurse or doctor if you need to. If you or a friend needs medical attention, seek it immediately - don't wait to see if things get better on their own.
Make sure you pack your Medicare card (you will either have one of your own or you will be listed on your family's card) or other health concession cards.
It's a good idea to know where to get medical assistance at your schoolies destination before you might need it. You can find out by searching the Better Health website to find out the location of pharmacists, medical practitioners or hospitals in your holiday area. Alternatively, you and your friends can scout for this information when you arrive at your schoolies destination.
youthcentral - Getting health care
Taking care of your health involves looking after your body, mind and wellbeing. Here are starting points for finding the right health professional for your situation, practical issues to consider such as legal issues and Medicare, questions to ask and useful resources.
Sunsmart - Sun protection
Provides a range of sun protection techniques, including hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, shade and clothing.
Better Health Channel - Healthy eating
Lots of topics, tips and advice relating to healthy eating.
Better Health Channel - Find a health professional or service
A useful directory for finding a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, hospital or medical centre near you, regardless of where you are in Victoria.