The holidays are a time for lights, music, feasting, and other delights for the senses and the spirit. It’s also a season of vocal risk, from the flu-bugs to catching up with loved ones.
Whether you’re flying out of Orlando or have family flying in, you will be using (and abusing) your voice a lot this holiday season. You haven’t seen your Aunt Betty or Cousin John in over a year and you have so much to catch up on! As you are talking over each other and singing Christmas carols your vocal cords are being strained.
Also, when you deck the halls be aware that you have to bring them into your home from the attic or garage! There will be dust as you get out the decorations which can cause sneezing, coughing, or other allergy symptoms that can have a negative impact on your voice.
Many times people will try to push through a cold in order to make it through the holidays. It is important to take care of yourself so things do not get worse. Stress from travel and holiday preparations can turn a simple cold into an unshakeable cough that leads into the New Year.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Well, we don’t quite get snow here in Central Florida, but sometimes the temperature outside does get lower here this time of year! When you turn on your heat, it tends to dry the air in your home. Breathing in dry air can cause dryness of the tissue in the mouth, nose and throat. Using a humidifier, especially in the area where you sleep, can be helpful. Also, drink plenty of water.
Drink Less Alcohol
Why dehydrate your body, increase acid reflux, and risk vocal carelessness, when you can enjoy everyone else’s party mood with a ceremonial toast followed by discreetly safer beverages?
Get Good Sleep Whenever You Can
It will boost your immune system, mood, and vocal resilience.
Party as a Listener
Especially in loud settings: immerse yourself in the “season” by appreciating others’ company and stories; save most of your own voice for laughter in the New Year!
Keep Your Neck and Chest Warm
Although the air does not get too frosty here in Florida, a chill can weaken a tired throat falling vulnerable to vocal injury or infection. Wear a scarf or keep a sweatshirt handy.
Turn Down the Music
If you are talking with a family member, turn down the music to avoid straining your voice to be heard over the jingle bells.
As the only comprehensive ear, nose, throat speech language pathology program (ENT/SLP) in the Central Florida area, our Voice Care Center offers complete evaluation and treatment of hoarseness.