Every runner knows that if you sprain your ankle you keep weight off it for a while. What you DEFINITELY DO NOT DO is try to keep running to get your miles in just because you’re training for a marathon. In fact, EVERY professional athlete knows to head to the doctor at even the slightest sign of injury. Why do they do this you ask? Because they care about their bodies! That's their livelihood! That's where the moolah (cash-money-dollah' billz) is at! Without it, they don't have a job.
Which brings me to my point...
You, as the professional, amateur, or aspiring performer are a vocal ATHLETE! I know it doesn't result in calories spent or muscle mass gained, but what your vocal folds are doing every time you take the stage is the equivalent of a teeny weeny Olympic gymnast going for the gold inside your throat.
So why do we, as singers, keep running on “sprained ankles”?
If you’re sick, hoarse, vocally off for whatever reason – DON’T do whatever it takes to keep singing. Don’t snort cayenne pepper and mainline apple cider vinegar just to get through your performance. If it is imperative that you get on stage, then get to an ENT so they can help you reduce the damage done at least. And then after the show? GO TAKE A BREAK!!
Taking care of your body is how you take care of your voice.
They are one and the same. You don’t just have a magical talent box hidden in your throat that sometimes needs constant infusions of hot tea, honey and lemon.
So what can you do? How can you make sure you’re consistently keeping your voice in tip top shape and giving your body the love it needs to keep on trucking through that day job right on to those long and late rehearsals? Try these 3 things to up-level your voice care:
If you’re having consistent difficulties with voice loss or health issues that are impacting your ability to perform – go click on the contact page up top to start a discussion with me and find out how I can help ☺
Can we talk about a pet peeve of mine for just a sec?
Every singer’s been through this. You’re half way through your rehearsal process, two weeks away from the show, working your ass off, and then you get sick and lose your voice.
And what do most singers do at that point? They HYPER focus in on getting their voice working again. No matter what, they’ll do anything, just to get it up and running. But… what about the rest of your body?
The reason that this bothers me so much is because of the inherent assumption that there is a complete disconnect between the voice and the body. And let me assure you, no such difference exists!
Your voice (just like the rest of your body) is made up of muscle tissue, cartilage, blood cells… you know all that gross stuff that goes on inside you? That’s the anatomy that creates your unique sound.
Which means, that when your voice is sick your BODY is sick. The same things that are going to make your body well, are the things that your voice needs. So you have a cold? And you lose your voice? Go to bed, drink liquids, cancel your rehearsal (or the performance and let your understudy go on) and take care of yourself.
So then what IS the “connection” between body and voice?
Well... your body IS your voice.
Because the thing that creates your voice is your anatomy (AKA your body). There isn’t really a “connection” because there’s no distinction between the two. When you ask your body to keep on trucking when it's at the point of breakdown (AKA sickness) you're astronomically increasing your risk of permanent and ongoing voice harm. And this is probably the one part of your body that you REALLY don't want to break down. Bye bye career!
Your voice crapping out on you is a symptom of your body being out of whack or out of balance as a whole. Sometimes this is just because of a cold - one that we will all get every once in a while. But if you’re the kind of performer who is consistently losing their voice, that is always having to “mark it” at rehearsal, who is missing rehearsals or performances because you are sick so often, then you need to look at your lifestyle and balance overall.
Getting a cold every once in a while is part of the human condition. And it's a sign that the body needs REST. Being stuffed up, bloated, nauseous, laryngitis-y, or any of these things on a consistent basis is something you can fix with consistent lifestyle changes.
As performers, we live for our art. Without it, we are incomplete. Don’t drive your instrument into the ground because “the show must go on”. Honor it. Love it up. Take care of it.
If you’re having consistent difficulties with voice loss or health issues that are impacting your ability to perform – e-mail me here to find out how I can help ☺
Make sure you don't miss Part 2 where I discuss HOW to start making these changes to support your vocal career! Sign up to receive blog announcements directly to your inbox!
If I've learned anything as a parent, business-owner, and performer, it's that everyone else seems to know the PERFECT way to do things, even if they aren't perfect for YOU.
And when you aren't able to live up to that perfect expectation it leaves you feeling... well... less than.
Your work becomes less than adequate.
You passions are less than important.
You are worth less than other people.
All because you are less than PERFECT!
Well how DARE anyone make you feel that way!
ESPECIALLY if the someone making you feel that way is... ahem...
Because we all have a little perfectionist inside us. So here are three tips for moving through your perfectionism spiral and LOVING where you are RIGHT NOW!
1- Identify It
Your Perfectionism Spiral starts with one voice – the voice of your Inner Critic. That little voice inside you that likes to tell you (in a variety of sneaky and subtle ways) that you can’t do something. Notice when it comes up. Once you tune in to it, you’ll start finding ways it sabotages you ALL THE TIME! Don’t give in! NEVER SURRENDER!
2- Question It
Is this statement true?
Is it truly 100% true that you can do NOTHING until [xyz…] happens? The answer could honestly be yes… But usually with the BIG things there is SOMETHING you can do.
Maybe you really CAN’T train for your first Spartan Sprint because you just developed shin splints (ouch!), or you can’t mentally start focus on losing weight because you’re trying to buy a new house (trust me…this is stressful…). You CAN still focus on A) recovering as completely and quickly as possible or B) give yourself a small food goal, like starting to eat more dark leafy greens.
3- Let go of Black and White Thinking
I, like many others, grew up with Black and White thinking. An All or Nothing mentality. It’s wasn’t anyone’s fault specifically, just something that pervades our society as a whole. It gets into our heads in a million sneaky ways until it’s so a part of us that we don’t even realize we are doing it.
Let go of it. Learn to love the GRAY! Know that you are still being productive and working towards your goals if you get a 5 minute walk in instead of a 30 minute. You’re still de-stressing, moving your body, lubricating your joints – all good things!
Even just a little when you planned A LOT is still better than NOTHING!
The goal is to LIVE life. Not create a perfect one based on someone else's Instagram reel.
So, what is one concrete action you can take TODAY to stand up to your Inner Critic?
Shoot me an e-mail to find out how I can help you calm the negative Nancy and find acceptance in yourself and your body.
My two worlds are colliding right now.
I'm currently working on Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre and it's going to be a GREAT show.
But something happened at a rehearsal the other day that got me thinking. Here's a quote from another singer in the cast 4 hours into a 6 hour rehearsal:
(Said with COMPLETE pride): Oh wow! I'm totally NOT going to have a voice tomorrow! Haha!
...Do you see the problem with that?
This person, LOVES singing. She LOVES this show.
Why would she do ANYTHING to jeopardize her ability to perform it?! Why would she sing to the point where she loses her voice and can't perform?!
Why do we have such pride in working ourselves to the point where our bodies LITERALLY give out and can't perform our passions?
Because that's what was happening.
And that's what we do with our health. We become completely dogmatic about being paleo, vegan, or an exercise regimen, and we forget that these should be tools that help us live our lives better.
It's not about how loud you sing in rehearsal, it's about the performance.
It's not about being perfect with your exercise or diet. It's about what it allows you to do. How it allows you to life your life better.
It's a give and take. A middle ground.
If you need help finding your unique and personalized middle ground, hit "REPLY" and set up a free Catalyst Call. During this call we go DEEP into what YOU need your health to be. To live your life to the fullest!
(...You Can Too!)
My kid doesn't sleep.
He hasn't for a little over a month now. I mean... he sleeps... but not enough. I can't figure out why. He's fine it seems. But I'm exhausted. I am cranky more often than not. And every time he poops I get it on my hand. (EVERY. DAMN. TIME.)
Today was no different. In an attempt to get more sleep, I told Kevin I would trade him more sleep for walking the dog later. This is a bit of an ordeal because I'm doing it with a baby and a stroller and my dog is a bit of a dumb dumb and likes running TOWARDS cars... not away. So it's not a super easy task doing it with the baby in tow as well.
But... later we head out for our walk. I've gotten like an extra half hour of sleep so I'm still exhausted but surviving. And I look down at my dogs leash and it has dog poop on it. I'm always surrounded by poop apparently. Thank god for water, soap, and Purell. So now I'm walking a baby in a stroller and a dog on a leash that has poop on it. It's a coordination NIGHTMARE.
We head out and make a loop. It's super foggy so we don't go far and my dog is lagging behind so I'm basically dragging him the whole way. And on our way back something pretty magical happens that changes my whole perspective for the day.
I found a dollar on the ground.
It's all wet and covered in dirt and not super fancy looking. But it's a dollar! It's FREE money! And in that moment I made the decision to stop our little troupe dead in our tracks, look up to the sky and shout, "THANK YOU UNIVERSE!"
I took my crumpled dirty dollar back home with us, washed it off and left it to dry, and now it sits in my pocket, waiting to be spent on something wonderful.
I honestly felt grateful! Partially for the money sure. But really, hey, it's only a dollar. I felt grateful because that one tiny thing was able to turn my whole day around because I let it. I made the choice, in that moment, that that was the turning point. I could have chosen to focus on the amount of feces in my life BUT. I. DIDN'T.
This is the power of choice.
Whether you're trying to lose weight, de-stress, or make more money, you always have a choice about how to feel about your circumstances.
Want to lose 10 pounds and you know that means cutting out sugar? Great! Less money spent on dessert and more money for awesome experiences! Know that in order to get some more alone time you need to say no to engagements with friends? Awesome! More time to finish that book you're loving!
Gratitude is KEY. No matter what's happening, find something to be grateful for. Make a habit of it. Make it a game. Write about it in your journal or call a friend to tell them what you're grateful for. (Instead of calling them to complain about that co-worker of yours... AGAIN...)
CHOOSE to feel grateful. That's your superpower ;)
We’ve all heard the old adage,
If you want something done right you have to do it yourself.
And so we tuck our heads down and truck along doing everything we can to keep moving. All the while stress upon stress upon stress is just building up on top of us.
We are able to really gain momentum this way! We can get things done quickly and efficiently when we are in the zone – as long as nothing disturbs the flow.
We are in our own little bubble.
However, eventually one more thing will be added and that bubble will BURST! We will burn out. We’ve tried too hard for too long and there’s nothing left. No more gas to make the car go.
And when we finally take a moment to look up we realize we are alone. We try so hard to make sure deadlines were met, kids got where they needed to go, meals got made, exercise was had, that we ignore everyone else around us.
So I’d like to suggest a replacement saying:
If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.
Each of us is on our own path, carving our own way through life. But that doesn’t mean that paths have to be solo through the woods. They can criss-cross and run parallel to each other. They can be so close together that one can lend a hand to the other.
This “healthy” thing? It’s not only a solo journey. You may be a highly independent person, but you’ll still need help sometimes. And it’s ok to ask for it!
It’s all well and good to go to yoga for a month straight, or make homemade meals for a month. But I was once this person. Doing it all perfectly for a short period and then came the burnout. I know – from first hand experience – how easily and quickly this can all break down if you don’t have a support system in place.
I challenge you to go far. And I challenge you to go together.
Find someone to guide you along your journey. We need someone who keeps us accountable, honest, and human. We are not perfect beings, but we are also not weak. We are strong and fallible.
Guidance is what a coach provides. Someone like me (wellness coach), a personal trainer, yoga teacher, or life coach. They keep you on track, keep you honest, and keep you from biting off more or less than you can chew. They push you to be your best self, while reminding you that no matter how awesome you become, you’re still human.
So, instead of promising yourself that you’ll visit the gym EVERY DAY, or that you’ll cut out all animal products, or something else drastic like that – reach out. Get help. Build a team around you. A team who’s sole job is to make you the most AWESOME person you can be.
And start right here! With me. E-mail me to schedule a free consultation to find out how you can achieve your goals in health and wellness.
Let’s talk about Will power for a second.
You’re probably under the impression that in order to succeed at being healthy person you just need more willpower. You just need to do it.
There’s this idea that you just need to commit a little bit more or dig down deep enough and you will be able to do that.
And I’m gonna tell you that’s not true. More than that... YOU'RE TRYING TOO HARD!
WhLike... rolling a heavy boulder up a steep hill kind of too hard.
Will power is actually something that the brain runs out of over a period of time. That's why sleep and food are SOOOOO important. So that you can recharge your batteries. The batteries that you are recharging willpower.
It's also why DIETS are CRAP! (Cause... ya know.. you're starving yourself and then trying to keep making good decisions... ya dig?)
Think about all of your holiday parties. Think about all those times when you go out to get a drink with a coworker. About all the times when you really tend to fall apart in your attempt at being healthy.
Does most of this happen later in the day? Or on a weekend?
Because I bet those office parties or the time spent after work with friends or even those times when feel like you need a glass of wine... those are probably all at the end of the day or week. When fatigue and hunger are greatest!
Those are all harder to resist simply because you’re tired. Because you have quite literally run out of the energy in your brain to have the willpower to maintain those healthy choices.
What it comes down to is not your inadequacies. It’s not you being a lesser person in anyway. It’s a literally just biology. You're welcome to read about it here, from like, scientists and stuff...
If you were able to take a two-hour nap in the middle of the day and made sure you ate a snack, I bet it would be significantly easier for you to avoid the nachos at the bar later that evening (...which is what I always end up eating lots of... Cause they’re delicious...)
So comment below... are YOU feeding and resting your brain? Instead of try try trying... can you give yourself a break? Or a nap?
Are you giving yourself a fighting chance at making the choices YOU KNOW YOU NEED TO MAKE to improve your health?