A vocalists entire body is their instrument. Taking great care of that body is the best way to ensure a consistent wellness for the body, and therefore the voice. If singers aren’t being health conscious, there is likely an issue with recurring common colds and flus, throat infections, and general fatigue or low energy.
I want to address some habits which leave vocalists vulnerable to sickness at any random point. It is common for singers to fall sick before a performance or before an important vocal recording session. So why are vocalists prone to falling sick before that gig? Here’s why:
Poor sleep habits
Poor physical health/fitness
Weak immune system
Stress & poor stress management
Not aware of public places & germs
Tips for preventing sickness
Get a good sleep
The most important thing you can do to take care of your body is to get your sleep patterns in order. My body will have different needs than your own, so it’s important to listen to your own body’s needs. Listen to your body = check in with your energy. Are you tired every day? Are you irritable? Consumed by stress? Do you suffer from anxiety, overthinking, and worrying about the future? Getting a good night’s sleep will help your body manage stress and negative emotions, leaving you feeling more pleasant during the day!
Your body NEEDS consistent sleep. Deep sleep is required for proper healing and mentally processing everything you encountered during the day!
Set a regular fall and rise time. Keep it consistent. You have a body clock, keep it regulated!
Adjust the length of your sleep. 8 Hours is recommended, but everyone is different.
Avoid screens before bed time, up to 2 hours before bed.
Avoid eating before bed, up to 2 hours before bed.
Insomnia sufferers: Try to use a natural, “sleep onset” aid. I recommend using this product - 3-Brains Restful Sleep
Physical Exercise will help you reach a deeper sleep state, meaning you’ll get a much better rest and have more energy as a result!
Quiet your mind before bed. Try meditation practice to learn to return to your breath if your thoughts are racing before bed.
Hydration ties for first place with resting for the most important aspect of vocal health. Your body is made up of MOSTLY water. Seems pretty important to hydrate then, right? Here’s how to get the most efficient water intake during the day:
Drink 2 litres of water per day.
On top of water intake, get hydrated from eating fruits and vegetables. Cucumber is especially hydrating!
Consume 2 cups of water as soon as your rise in the morning. Drink most of your water early in the day.
Avoid dehydrating beverages such as excessive caffeine intake. (Coffee, energy drinks, some teas)
Poor nutrition & diet
We are what we eat. The food you put in your body is supposed to fuel you. If you want to be efficient and have useful energy, then you should mind what you eat. We live in a time where it’s extremely difficult (and expensive) to ensure you’re consuming all the proper nutrients you need to live a great life. Getting all the nutrients into your body by consuming food is pretty much impossible… Consider purchasing a vitamin supplement to help support your immune system. I would recommend Vega One.
You need to eat fresh & raw foods to get proper nutrition. If you are eating fast food a lot, your immune system is going to be weak.
Processed and packaged goods aren’t usually the best. When I am shopping for groceries I skip the packaged goods aisles.
Natural foods give us so much energy. Go for the fresh produce - fruits and vegetables!
Fix your diet habits in order to kick the chronic colds!!
Avoid overconsuming mucous causing foods such as dairy products: cheese, yoghurt, milk, etc.
Physical fitness & Weak immune system
Exercise is vital to the body’s immune wellness, adding a frequent fitness routine is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body. This regulates hormones, strengthens the body’s ability to fight off illness, prevent burn out and fatigue, increase stamina and lung capacity. Developing a fitness routine will absolutely boost your confidence and self-esteem. Some fitness suggestions:
Get a gym membership - try cardio, lifting weights, and stretching for better mobility.
Get a yoga membership - yoga is great for strengthening, stretching, and toning your muscles.
Stay active with sports
Walk/Run with your dog - they will love you for it!
Poor stress management
Stress is a normal part of life. Thankfully we can control how we manage our stress levels. We can let our stress consume us, or we can try to prevent the grip it has on our reality. A simple way to check in with yourself on how you’re dealing with your stress is by noticing your attitude. Are you feeling negative and salty? Or are you looking for the positives & silver lining of the situation? Coping with stress by using alcohol or drugs is a trap. Escaping your problems will not solve the issues. Try to address your stress head on instead, and develop healthier habits that will help you deal with it! For example, find outlets for your stress: writing music, physical exercise, take a vacation, enjoy a nature walk, etc.
Are you stressed about a vocal performance? Do you have a live gig coming up, or a vocal recording session booked at a studio? Here are some common mistakes that singers make which leave them feeling stressed before a performance.
Stop worrying about outcome of the performance. Take control by practicing your material in advance.
Prepare your material regularly so you don’t have to stress about it. Stay rehearsed and save yourself the headache!
Begin unorganized can cause stress. Prepare early!!
Take caution of germs in public
Public places are very germey so beware of public washrooms, door handles, debit machines, etc. Anything that many people use or touch in a day is a breeding ground for germs. Common colds and flus are very contagious. Here are some tips to avoid catching a cold/flu!
If you are sick, cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze. Be courteous to the people around you.
If someone sneezes or coughs in your direction, turn away and hold your breath!
Avoid public places when you notice there is a cold/flu going around.
Wash your hands often and carry hand sanitizer to kill bacteria.
Do not touch your mouth, eyes, or face if your hands are not clean!
Take care of yourself 100% of the time to ensure wellness 100% of the time. You may never get sick again!