Many of us don’t think twice about our voice until it’s impaired or lost. And then we panic! Here are three things to avoid doing if you want your voice to return to normal as quickly as possible.
1. Resting your voice
It seems like common sense, but unless you’ve had vocal surgery or are suffering from laryngitis, resting your voice is not necessarily a good idea. Our vocal cords are muscles and like any muscle in our body they need to move regularly to stay in shape. On the other hand, it’s important to allow your voice to gradually return to normal. Take it easy and try to avoid noisy venues, like restaurants and cafés.
Whispering can be mistaken for giving your voice a break, when in fact it places a lot of stress on your larynx due to the constricting muscle tension required to whisper. According to Lana McCarthy from Word of Mouth, it’s one of the worst things you can do if you’ve got voice issues. If you need to get your voice back in action quickly, seek help from a speech pathologist to safely guide your voice back to health.
3. Soldiering on through sickness
If you’ve been struck down by a cold or flu, it’s tempting to carry on despite your illness. Especially if you have a performance or presentation that you don’t think you can miss. “Many people fall into the trap of thinking, ‘I’ve got to do this’, or ‘my boss is counting on me’,” said Lana. “It’s important to say no to vocally-demanding gigs when you’re not feeling well, even if it’s only a short speech or performance. People who go ahead can impair their voice far more than if they hadn’t pushed themselves.”