The holidays in Central Florida are a time for lights, music, feasting, and other delights for the senses and the spirit. As you rock around the Christmas tree to celebrate the season, remember it’s also a season of vocal risk, from flu-related bugs to stress created from catching up with countless 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. Although you may not realize it, you’ll be talking over each other, singing Christmas carols and all the while straining your vocal cords to keep up. Thanks to the increased amount of talking you’ll be doing and the background music found at gatherings, you might be in for a present you weren’t ready for: vocal issues.
Tips to Ensure Vocal Health
So, what should you be aware of this season and how can you keep your voice intact? Here are a few tips to help you sound your best through the holiday season and beyond in Orlando:
Beware of Dusty Decorations
When you deck the halls, be aware that you have to bring those decorations into your home from the attic or garage. There will be plenty of holly jolly dust mites as you get out the decorations, which can cause sneezing, coughing, or other allergy symptoms that can have a negative impact on your voice.
Don’t “Push Through” a Cold
Many times people will try to push through a cold in order to make it through the holidays. It’s important to take care of yourself so things don’t get worse. Stress from travel and holiday preparations can turn a simple cold into an unshakeable cough that leads to the New Year.
Drink Plenty of Water
Be sure to drink plenty of water to keep your throat and vocal cords moist. By ensuring your vocal folds are hydrated, you can help prevent and manage any voice disorders that may pop up.
Keep Your Neck and Chest Warm
Although the air doesn’t get too frosty here in Central Florida, a chill can weaken a tired throat falling vulnerable to vocal injury or infection. Wear a scarf or keep a sweatshirt handy to stay warm.
Party as a Listener
Especially in loud settings: immerse yourself in the “season” by appreciating others’ company and stories. In other words, when you feel vocal fatigue, take a break and practice being a “good listener”.
Regulate Your Workload
Although there’s a lot to do this time of year, do your best not to get too overworked this season. Excessive tiredness and an increased workload can wreak havoc on your voice and body. Staying well-rested will help keep your voice in top shape, making you less susceptible to other illnesses. Take good care of yourself, get plenty of rest, wash your hands frequently and try to let Rudolph do most of the running!
Think About the Heat in Your House
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 this time of year, meaning you turn up temperature indoors. But, 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 to ease this dryness.
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. If you’re at a party, make conversation away from the loudest room/speaker in the building.
Watch What You Eat and Drink
This time of year we tend to eat and sometimes drink a bit more than usual. Keep in mind that overeating can promote acid reflux, as can intake of peppermint, chocolate and alcoholic beverages. Acid reflux can enter the throat and have a negative impact on your voice production. Try to avoid overeating and limit your intake of chocolate and alcohol and maybe just decorate with the candy canes.
If your voice is being more naughty than nice this holiday season, schedule an appointment with the specialists at our Voice Care Center to help you through the holiday season.