The idea of self-care has become more mainstream in the last few years — and as singers we can apply that same idea to our instruments. Here are four simple acts of vocal self-care which go a long way to protect your vocal health.
First and foremost: listen to your body to avoid vocal injury. Are you pushing? Do you need to rest? Here are some other ideas to consider when protecting your vocal health:
Cool Down: Most of us use warm-ups as part of our daily vocal practice — but don't forget the benefits of the cool down! Just like doing a walking lap after a hard run — don't put the instrument away, hot!
Hydrate: Your vocal folds function best when your whole body is hydrated! Reminder —caffeine and alcohol both work as dehydrators.
Rest: It may sound obvious, but the vocal fold tissue cannot begin healing until you aren't speaking or singing.
Acid Reflux: Reflux can cause excess mucus, and ultimately cause the vocal folds to be brittle and stiff. Even if you aren't experiencing pain, if you habitually wake up congested — you may be experiencing reflux that could be negatively impacting your vocal health. Talk to a doctor about strategies to manage reflux.
Remember — this is by no means a comprehensive list! But taking these small steps of vocal self-care can make a huge difference in the flexibility & consistency of your instrument. Set yourself up for success and sing your heart out, you gorgeous human!