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Home SICK For The Holidays? No Way!
10 Stress-Busters For A Healthy Voice
December 12, 2019

By Ann Utterback
Voice Specialist and Author, Broadcast Voice Handbook

Did you know that this time of year may actually be hazardous to your voice?

Chronic stress wears us all down during an ordinary month, but with the pressures of the holiday season upon us, stress can get out of control. If it does, your health AND your voice can suffer.

During the holiday season, you most likely will spend time shopping in stores or malls where those nasty bugs that make you sick are in abundance! 

Mix that with the possibility of snow and frigid temperatures, and you've got a perfect recipe for getting sick. The coughing and sore throat that follow can wreak havoc on your voice. 

Why not try these stress-busters to help balance the demands of this busy season so that you might avoid getting sick? And you can start today!

1. Stretch slowly several times during your day today. Click here for some easy stretches.

2. Exercise for at least 20 minutes today. A brisk walk will do it. Even 20 minutes of light exercise ups your energy for as long as 12 hours and boosts your immune system and your brain function.

3. Eat three meals today or graze on five small meals. Make certain you're eating some protein at every meal or snack.

4. Avoid the urge to grab something sweet when you're stressed. Go for protein instead (e.g., nuts, low-fat cheese, peanut butter). Click here to read about how protein helps.

5. Drink, drink, drink, and I don't mean at holiday parties! Drink more water. To find out how much you need each day, click here.

6. Get up and take a break when you're at your desk for more than an hour. Check out Sitting is the New Smoking.

7. Close your eyes and take three slow abdominal breaths once or twice today. Don't know what an abdominal breath is? Watch this video.

8. Daydream for a few minutes a couple of times a day about your last pleasant vacation.

9. Get at least seven hours of sleep a night, more if possible. Lack of sleep lowers your immune function and affects mental acuity. If you have trouble sleeping, concentrate on breathing in and breathing out slowly in bed. And prepare yourself for sleep by ramping down. Click here for more on that.

10.Finally, remember that germs are spread primarily by dirty hands. Wash your hands often during the day, and be especially aware of this when you're at work or out at social events. Hand washing is the best defense against the common cold and other illnesses.
Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D., is a voice specialist with more than 40 years experience and has helped hundreds of people make the most of their voices, working with broadcasters, voice over artists and podcasters around the world. An author of eight books and over 50 articles on voice, her Broadcast Voice Handbook is a classic textbook offering more advice on how to improve your voice over performance.


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