You know what time of year it is.... the time where the sound of sniffles come through the door before footsteps and coughing rings in the halls. It's sick season and that means the flu, colds, viruses, and all of the germs.
When you play an instrument like guitar, piano or drums, the instrument is easy to care for by regular cleanings and proper storage. But your voice is a living instrument. We use it every day and take it everywhere we go. So how can we protect and care for our voices like a guitar in a case? Find our top five tips to better vocal health below! (Bonus: these tips are great to help prevent sickness, but also great for when you are already under the weather!)
1. Good General Health Practices
You know the drill... wash your hands, don't drink after your friends, take your vitamins, all the usual things - but we really mean it! The healthier your body is, the healthier your voice will be. Once you start to get sick, your vocal health can decline rapidly. The healthier you are, the healthier your voice is.
2. Warm Tea with Honey
When you're feeling a little scratchy or dry, warm tea is a great option! Any tea will do, but stay away from options loaded with caffeine - it's a diuretic and will actually drain you of much needed water. You can also had a spoonful of honey; it will help to coat your chords in a good way, lubricating them and helping them rub together more easily.
3. External Hydration
Hydrating yourself from the outside is a great option too. You can run humidifiers or hot water vaporizers in your home to bring up the moisture level of the air around you. You can also breathe in shower steam, use a personal steamer, or breathe through a wash cloth with hot water.
4. Rest Your Body, Rest Your Voice
One of the best things you can do for yourself when you don't feel 100% is to rest! Now of course we do mean get plenty of sleep, but we also mean to rest your voice itself. Avoid the extremes of your voice - no yelling, no whispering! If you need to speak, do it at a low volume but don't strain yourself. Talk as little as possible and of course, don't sing unless you have to!
5. Water, Water, Water
Hydrating your vocal chords from the inside out is the best way to keep them nice and healthy. It is recommended that singers take in at least 64 ounces of water per day, but many drink more than that. Keep a water bottle with you at all times to remind you to drink up! You can also hydrate with foods that are high in water content like melons or cucumbers.
Well those are our top tips! Did we leave out one of your favorites? Leave it in the comments section below!
If you'd like more information on vocal health, Duke Voice Care Center has some great tips as well! Stay healthy!
The Lanti Performing Arts Team