A few weeks ago this column briefly looked at the education campaign Toybox is running. The tag line for Toybox at Luna Park will be Keep yourself nice -“ play safe, a phrase that will hopefully mean something different to everyone.

Along with the tag line are three public health safety tips specifically designed for the event. Although these have been designed specifically with Toybox in mind, it is hoped that partygoers will apply them to the whole Mardi Gras season and play their part in keeping the community as safe as possible.

Be prepared: get some rest, eat well and be mentally prepared for your big day is the first of these safety tips. Be prepared is an important message, particularly for the Mardi Gras season.

Recovery parties are held the day, or days after, a major dance event. These parties conjure up a whole pile of different images: sitting in Flinders Lane watching the remnants of the party slowly turn up one by one; listening to great music with a cocktail upstairs at Gilligans; or dancing in one of many clubs for hours on end until it is simply too difficult to dance any more.

Strangely enough one of the things we don’t seem to do at these parties is actually recover.

In fact there appears to be a growing trend by partygoers to not actually go to the major event at all but simply attend one of the many parties that are held over the following days.

For those who do both, this means days of partying, often with very little sleep or rest, leaving your body and mind totally exhausted at the end. Pushing yourself to the limit is a dangerous activity.

If you know that you’re going to have a big couple of days partying, get yourself both mentally and physically prepared for that time. In the week prior, eat well -“ lots of fruits and vegetables is a great way to start, and on the day try to eat a meal full of carbohydrates to give you energy for the time ahead (a plate of pasta is a good option).

Get lots of rest. Take the time to give your body a little pampering before the onslaught -“ this will also assist you to be mentally prepared. There are always so many parties on over the Mardi Gras season that to find a couple of nights to have some real rest can be difficult. However, the effort will be worth it.

Be prepared also means some planning for when the partying stops. Make sure you have no major decisions to make in the days afterwards. Surround yourself with friends and make sure your fridge is full of all the things you love to spoil yourself with.

There is nothing worse than having to crawl out into the light the day after the night before in search of your favourite ice-cream!

Remember: if you do not want any negative consequences, do not use the drug and, no matter how many times you have used a substance, never be blas?

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