By Stephanie Ciccarelli
March 26, 2008
Feeling gross, yucky, icky or have no voice at all?
There's something going around again and an email request prompted me to write some tips for soothing a sore throat.
Try these 12 tips at home -- they work!
1. Do not talk
Really, don't talk. It sounds impossible but if you have the support of those around you and they are open to reading notes you jot down or playing charades, you can do it.
2. Do not talk on the phone
The phone is one of those wonderful technologies that can literally rip the voice right out of you. If you are feeling sick or even if you are not, it's a good idea to spend minimal time on the telephone as people often speak in more exaggerated tones and volume levels to compensate for the fact that you cannot express yourself visually.
3. Do not irritate your voice by yelling, crying, screaming or nagging
This may be an easy one for you if you lead a relatively tranquil existence or if you live alone. However, if you have kids, clam up and don't use your voice if you're mad and want to yell. Find another positive way to express what you are feeling -- don't take it out on your own voice -- that's counterproductive!
4. If you are coughing don't force it or you may lose your voice
Enough said. I had this awful affliction late last week and couldn't speak for a few days. It's nasty, it's inconvenient and it is nearly the worst thing that can happen to you if you depend upon your voice to make a living. As one of my chums related, Laryngitis is the kiss of death for voice actors, and I can see why it's true! I hope you don't get it -- follow the tips on this list and you'll have some ideas on how to stave it off.
5. Drink plenty of fluids
Keep the juice, water and milk coming! Your body is made up a hefty percentage of water and you need to maintain those fluids in order to get better and keep your vocal folds moist. Milk doesn't just build strong bones and teeth, it has hidden benefits such as adding another thin layer of coating to ease the pain. While you're at it, you might want to eat some yogurt or pudding ;) Consider Ginger Ale as another remedy in your arsenal.
6. Stay Hydrated
This may sound the same as the previous suggestion but it's not exactly the same. Earlier I encouraged you to drink plenty of fluids, but plenty is a relative term ;) Being hydrated means that you are constantly replacing fluids that are leaving you throughout the day. Don't just drink with each meal, drink in between meals and whenever you feel you need it.
A good rule might be to have a glass of something moisturizing once an hour when your throat feels like this. Your illness has a way of stripping the moisture away faster than would normally happen if you were well. Drinking more will also prevent headaches and migraines.
7. Have a cup of something warm that is non-drying
Do you like drinking tea? If you do, it's a great time to get your herbal teas out of the cupboard and find the one that is most suited to driving away infection and soreness. Lemon, chamomile, and ginger are three great choices. Honey is a nice sweetener that won't create more fuss.
8. Don't eat anything scratchy, gritty or spicy
It goes without saying but if you're eating something gritty, coarse or spicy, your throat is not going to thank you. Stay away from foods that mettle with your efforts to get back on the path to good health.
9. Boil some water and breathe in the steam
Give yourself the spa treatment and inhale some beautifully condensed H20! If you have a water mister or humidifier turn that baby on full tilt and take it all in.
10. Get plenty of rest
Resting doesn't necessarily mean lights out but it does mean refraining from activities you don't need to participate in until you get well. Take some time to be quiet, sit still and see what happens.
11. Keep warm
Keeping your neck area warm is a good idea. If you have a heating bag, scarf or sweater, put it on. A massage wouldn't hurt either, would it? Gently massage your neck and pamper it a bit by allowing your voice do do absolutely nothing.
Snuggle up, get toasty warm and call it a night early to get those optimum hours of rest before midnight. If you go to bed for 9 p.m. or even 10 p.m. you'll feel the difference.
Bonus #1: If you need to clear your throat, do not cough, simply swallow. This is a good habit to develop when you are healthy too, especially if you are in a recording session and either can't cough or prefer not to.
Bonus #2: STAY OFF THE PHONE! It's one of the best things you can do for your voice. The less you talk, the more time your voice has to heal and help your body to combat whatever it is that is making you sick.
Do you have a tip you would like to share?
Leave a comment!
Â©©©iStockphoto.com/Przemyslaw RzeszutkoRelated Topics: how to, laryngitis, sick, sore throat, throat, vocal health, voice acting