Thursday, 30 October 2014

It's Halloween, so go throw an epic party!

It’s Halloween, so go throw an epic party. Not only can parties be good for your health but some of the great ancient tales of Ireland involve epic parties. My favourite is the tragedy of Diarmuid and Gráinne, the star crossed lovers whose story reads like some iron age fusion of Romeo and Juliet and Natural Born Killers, with Diarmuid slaughtering all would dare to catch them, while the pair of them resisted their biological urges until, but of course, they got to Galway, where they, ahem, did lay down together… (This of course is not entirely unnormal behaviour for people visiting Galway – the whole epic erotic energy of the place can send the best of us cracked).

All of which leaves the inhabitants of modern Ireland (and Galway in particular) under a bit of pressure when it comes to throwing our own parties. Ideally modern parties should combine fun, food and fabulous tales, whilst at the same time sending sparks through everybody’s brains and hearts that will lead to stunningly heroic adventures that will be sung about down through the ages. At the very least parties are a great way to wind down, relax, shoot the breeze with old friends, make new friends and celebrate life. In fact taking time out from the stress and pressure of everyday life (jobs, exams, bills, and relationships) is great for your health and wellbeing, which will help with your ability to cope with life’s difficulties.

However, the problem is that when you do manage to throw an epic party, the chances are that some fecking eejits will come along looking for an excuse to get pished, grope or fight other party goers, vomit on the carpet and leave a trail of broken glass and burn marks. This can only increase stress levels for everybody. But do not panic Columbia University’s Go Ask Alice programme has great tips on how to throw great stress free parties. These include:

Make sure there lots of great food with low salt levels (salt makes people thirsty). Have drinks set up in a separate room, with plenty of non-alcoholic drinks available as well. Have plenty of activities lined up (dancing, movie, scary stories, scary costume fashion parade, etc.), but avoid drinking games. For more check out the full article in Strategies for preventing drunk driving

Hangover helper and tips for healthy drinking also has great advice; including don’t mix alcohol drinks; have a good meal beforehand with lots of protein in it; alternate drinking alcohol with water or juice (but not carbonated drinks as they can speed up effects of alcohol). There’s plenty more facts and tips in the article; check it out and see what you think.

For those who are new to partying and are looking for things to start a conversation with, here’s some Halloween topics: Did you know there is a gruesome fungus that kills ants then turnsthem in to zombies…  Or, on a more enlightened topic, did you know Edgar Alan Poe visited Scotland when he was impressionable child

Of course if your looking for weird and dark stories to enjoy please check out My Books

Have a fun Halloween!
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Found this article useful? You might also check out:

NB While there is a lot of fun to being a student, there is no getting away from the fact that sexual assaults can happen at parties, on campus, anywhere. The latest edition of Student Health 101 has an article worth reading called 'Profile of a Bystander: How to prevent sexual assault on campus'. To read it click on Student Health 101 then click the sexual assault link. This article is part of the October issue, to read it after October just check out the archive. You might also want to check out Rape and Alcohol
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For more on how to look good, feel good and be in charge of your
life as a student at NUI Galway check out
 Student's Services Health Promotion

Keep up to date by following this blog on twitter and Facebook

Saturday, 25 October 2014

'Curved penis', 'Preventing drunk driving' and lots more...

Here’s the latest Q & As from Go Ask Alice. Topics covered below include ‘Curved penis’, ‘Strategies for preventing drunk driving’ and lots more…

Click on the links below to read more about subjects that interest you. And remember if you find the articles useful feel free to tell your friends or retweet this blog.

All Go Ask Alice articles are written by Columba University.
Copyright (C) 2014 Columbia University. All rights reserved.
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Remember, if you have problems or worries you feel you would like to talk about confidentially, contact Cindy Dring, Health Promotion Officer for NUI Galway at 091-492048. Alternatively e-mail her at or just drop in to Aras Ni Eimhigh.

For more on how to look good, feel good and be in charge of your life as a student at NUI Galway check out Student's Services Health Promotion

Keep up to date by following this blog on twitter and Facebook

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Samhain / Halloween – Darkness & New Beginnings

There is a moment, every year, in the darkness between the evening 
of October 31st and the morning of November 1st when according to 
tradition the gap between our world and the realms of other beings 
- whether the immortal sióg or Christain saints or the long gone dead - 
suddenly are as close a breath or a blink; when in a moment we mere 
mortals can experience great and terrifying revelations. It is a time of 
shudders and creaks, of dark tales and guises. It is a time when old 
Celtic year gives way to the new and an infinity of possibilities lies
before us. It is a time we celebrate as Samhain or Halloween.
In ancient times Samhain was a time of feasting, judgement, law 
making and the settling of disputes, but it was also “a time of danger 
when the magic of the druids was required to control the hostility of 
the Otherworld beings by chanting and by sacrifice, spells and 
apotropaic formulae’ to ward off evil [Ross, Anne, ‘Ritual and the 
Druids’ in Green, Miranda J. (ed.) The Celtic World (London, 1995).]
There are many things to fill us with dread at this time of the year, 
not just the supernatural. Dark evenings and cold wet days can 
dampen our moods, make it harder to cope with all those day to day 
things we have to deal with;relationships, work, money and studies. 
The shortening and darkening days can make it seem so much 
harder to cope and keep going on. But the magic that brings 
darkness also brings great healing and hope.
The very darkness, dampness and cold awakens a need to draw 
closer to friends and love ones, which in turns has great benefits  
for our health, resilience, confidence and optimism. The season 
has it’s an uplifting incredible beauty: Barna woods, my favourite 
haunt, looks the very picture of an Otherworld at this time of the 
year. The leaves carpeting the ground are a myriad of colours: the 
gold of pirate treasures, mixed with rubies and emeralds from a 
dragon’s lair, with here and there patches as dark as old blood or 
a yellow as the sun in summer.
And that long relaxing walk in the autumn landscape, is not only 
wonderful for socialising and taking in the beauty of the world, it 
is also one of the most important forms of preventative medicine 
available; increasing oxygen flowing to your brain, strengthening 
your mood as well as your muscles. So if you are thinking of 
making any unbreakable oaths at this time of the year, you might 
want to think about regularly getting out for a walk with a friend 
(regardless of whether they are human, canine, zombie, living 
dead or other). You never know you might just find yourself 
transported into a whole other realm.
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For more on how to look good, feel good and be in charge of your 
life as a student at NUI Galway check out
 Student's Services Health Promotion
Keep up to date by following this blog on twitter and Facebook
Enjoyed this article, you might want to check out:
Friendships: Enrich your life and improve your health
 Long Walks Benefit Mind and Body 
Useful links: