Be kind to yourself
As I write, I'm two performances into the Hucknall Makes Music festival. Ten days of music across our great little town. Which is very exciting - but it also means eleven performances. Eek. That's quite a lot! It's going to take a lot of energy to keep the performance sparkle topped up, let along keep my voice going.
At times like this, it's easy to get caught up in it all and be on a non-stop treadmill of being busy. So that I don't get to burnout before it's all done, I've made some promises to myself. Perhaps these are things you could promise yourself when things are very busy? Taking care of yourself often takes a back seat, but as someone once said to me, you need to believe you're worth it! Here are some of things I will do doing to keep myself going through these next ten days:
- Take some time to sit and read.
- Watch some rubbish TV or a film.
- Allow yourself to just sit.
- Do some breathing exercises or yoga. A sigh is a sign to your cells to relax.
- Make a pot of tea or open a bottle of wine, then sit and enjoy it (maybe with your book or the rubbish TV!)
- Have an early night - or a guilt-free lie in.
- Go for a walk in the morning and look at the sky, the trees, the wildlife. Listen to the sounds of the world around you!
- Don't feel guilty about doing nothing. As my very wise sister once said, you won't lie on your death bed wishing you'd cleaned the loo!
- Spend time with the people that matter.
- Practise saying no. You don't have to do everything. If you're dreading it, sometimes it's a sign that you don't need to do it!
In terms of singing, there are physical things you can do too:
- Drink lots of water (lukewarm - not too cold)
- Do a gentle warm up over a few hours. Just a bit of gentle humming or sirening (making your voice slide) will work wonders. And ALWAYS warm up before you sing - it protects your voice but it also improves it!
- If your throat starts to feel sore, drink honey and lemon in warm water or camomile tea.
- Avoid tea, red wine and dairy - at least on the day of a big concert. I can't do without my morning cup of tea, but make it just the one. These things dry out your vocal chords. It's hard - but it's worth it!
Above all, be kind to yourself and enjoy the fun!