There’s no time quite like the holidays for getting sick with a cold, and it can not only make your holiday miserable but also wreck your voice for on-air work.
Why are the holidays a threat? For a start, we’re going into enclosed spaces with crowds of people. Next, we might be on an airplane, which is the perfect breeding ground for viruses. And finally, we’re stressed and exhausted. Can you think of a more vulnerable time? I can’t, but fortunately, there are ways to cut down on the risk.
First, let’s look at the crowds of people we encounter whether shopping or on a plane.
The hustle and bustle of shopping and going to social functions puts us among lots of people. The trick to avoiding those cold germs in these situations is to keep your hands clean either with sanitizers or good old soap and water. And between cleanings, don’t touch your face at all. One way I become more aware of this is to keep my gloves on when shopping. With gloves on I’m less likely to touch my face. Cold viruses are mostly spread by our hands conveying germs to our nose, mouth, or eyes, so take steps when you’re out around lots of people.
And on airplanes, I go all the way by using a sanitizing wipe on surfaces around me as soon as I’m seated. That includes the arm rests, seat belt buckles, and tray tables. People around might stare, but putting up with that is better than getting sick. And despite what the flight attendant announces, I also avoid touching anything in the pocket in front of me.
Don’t give those bugs a way to get into your body, and you’ll have a good chance of avoiding a cold.
And how do you save your voice if you do get a respiratory infection? Coughing is the most problematic for your voice. Check out this former post of mine that gives you good information on dealing with the cough that comes with a cold.
There are three basics to treating a cold that always help: Drink lots of fluid, get as much sleep as you can, and eat healthy meals. For more on treating a cold, look at this post of mine that has more general information and tips to use if you get a cold.
And remember to get a flu shot. The flu can knock you out of work for a couple of weeks, and you don’t want that. Also, don’t take antibiotics for a cold. They are worthless on viruses. If you have a sinus infection, which can be a bacterial, they could be appropriate.
And for more tips on keeping your voice healthy, check out the fifth edition of BROADCAST VOICE HANDBOOK, which you can download instantly! Have a wonderful holiday season!