Worried about keeping your singing voice healthy this holiday season?
Glad to hear it! Well, I've got 5 things for you to keep in mind.
Don't worry. I'm not going to tell you to say "no" to all those Christmas cookies or cups of liquid good cheer.
BUT, as you're having fun this season, keep the basics in mind and keep returning to them often, so that you don't veer too far off track.
Maintaining a healthy singing voice during the winter holidays is essential, especially if you have performances or gatherings that involve singing. Here are 5 tips to help you keep your singing voice in top shape during this season:
- Stay Hydrated: Winter weather can be dry, which can dehydrate your vocal cords and throat. Drink plenty of water or herbal tea to stay well-hydrated. If you throw back a few alcoholic drinks, make up for them by drinking extra water afterwards. You can also use a humidifier in your bedroom to add moisture to the air as you sleep and prevent your vocal cords from drying out.
- Warmups and Vocal Exercises: This can't be a surprise to you if you've read any of my other content. Just like with any physical activity, your singing voice needs proper warming up and exercise. In cold weather, it may need more. Start every singing session with warmups and exercises to prepare your vocal cords. You'll sing better and reduce the risk of strain and injury.
- Protect Your Throat: Cold and flu viruses are more common during the winter months. To avoid getting sick and experiencing throat discomfort, practice good hand hygiene, make use of things like zinc lozenges and Emergen-C (especially if others around you become sick), and consider wearing a scarf to protect your neck and throat from the cold. If you do get sick, rest your voice as much as possible to prevent further irritation.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet: You're likely going to have some big meals this season, topped off by pie and other deserts. Enjoy them! But between those meals, return to considering your vocal health. Avoid foods and drinks that can trigger acid reflux, such as spicy and acidic foods. Opt for a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and drink your water or herbal tea. When you throw your hands up in surrender and say, "Aw, what the heck, it's Christmastime!" do that for a meal here and there, but not for the entire season.
- Manage Stress: Oh, family time. A source of great joy, and sometimes the source of great stress. Stress creates physical tension and lowers your immune system, two things that challenge your vocal health. Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, yoga, or even meditation to counterbalance the stressful moments and keep the season merry.
I doubt any of these 5 suggestions surprised you. It's not rocket science, but you might not stick to good choices if you don't make it a conscious plan ahead of time. So, here's your plan. Happy winter season!