Winter has most definitely set in and as usual it is inescapably cold, not to mention the coughs, colds and viruses that are floating around. Unfortunately for those of us who would rather spend winter rugged up in bed, the showbiz world does not stop. There are auditions happening all the time which means new repertoire to learn, shows to become familiar with and dance classes to attend to keep up muscle memory and work on technique. With a little assistance from Inge Southcott (MBBS, MMUS) I have constructed a few top tips to keep you going throughout winter.
1. Keep moving
A performer (no matter what your speciality) is just like an elite athlete. Training each day is important, even if it is just stretching or some simple vocal exercises it is important to keep yourself in top form, all year round so you can be ready to go to an audition at any time. Performers know as well as anyone that you can be notified about an audition with very little time to prepare. If you are sick or injured find something that can still enhance your performance, listen to a new soundtrack or read a bit of a play, read aloud or even research a dance style that you are not so familiar with. You can continue to sing a few gentle exercises if you are unwell but be very careful if your vocal folds are swollen ie. laryngitis do not sing on them as you may risk bleeding and scarring.
2. Eat healthy
Many of you probably already do this but it is twice as important at the moment, a healthy body is much better at fighting off bugs and other nasties. If you do feel a cold coming on one of the best things is to take Vitamin C + Zinc which is available in pharmacies as well as some Health food shops or supermarkets. In regards to drinking water, which is something we have heard about for yonks, full glasses of water are much more effective at getting the recommended 2 Litres into you than sipping on a bottle of water.
3. Do the stuff your mother told you to…
Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t go anywhere near food without washing your hands? Paying more attention to this simple task can greatly improve your chances of avoiding illness during the flu season, especially before mealtimes. It may sound old fashioned but there is a very simple reason – bugs are droplet contagions. If you travel on public transport a lot, gloves not only serve to keep your hands warm but act as a barrier to all of these nasties that may be left lying on some of the handrails.
4. GO HARD!
Really, winter only sucks because it’s cold, if you’re not sick power on! Keep going and chase your dream. If you are sick it can be even harder, don’t despair, it’s only temporary. Make sure you give yourself the time to rest and recover, in this busy world sometimes this can be the hardest thing.
Winter may suck but we all get through it every year, I hope these four tips help you get through but the most important thing is that if you need help – ask for it. The doctor is there to help you when you feel like something is wrong, go, get your flu shot and a proper consultation if you need it.