What does self-care have to do with voiceover? Everything.
As voiceover artists, our instruments are our voices. They require maintenance. Just like you need to tune a piano in order for it to produce the proper notes, we need to take care of ourselves in order to be able to offer our best voice.
I am in constant pursuit of refining my ideal routine, always searching for practices I can adopt in order to increase my productivity, yield better results from my efforts, and live a happier and healthier life.
So, today I’m going to share some ideas for self-care tips you can add to your daily routine keep your voice in its best working condition.
Start with the mind
We often don’t realize until it’s too late and the stress or worry has already built up just how much our state of mind impacts our physical well-being.
Is anyone else familiar with subtle stress? The kind that slips under the radar? The kind that builds up but lingers in the background and suddenly manifests itself in a panic attack or some intense back pain? I’m sure some of you are because it’s much more common than people think.
That comes from the mind, and that’s why it’s vital that the process of self-care start there. And usually, the first step is taking a step back and assessing whether or not you have some lingering stress.
I practice this regularly in my voiceover work. When I’m feeling frustrated or stuck, or the creative juices just aren’t flowing, I step back and ask myself if I’m preoccupied with something.
I often am, and so I make sure I address that before rushing back into what I’m doing. I tell myself it’ll be okay, and then let it go. It allows me to focus better when I need to produce results.
Water is life!
If anyone has told you to drink more water, listen to them. If you haven’t listened to them, listen to me.
The added benefits are enormous! Not just for voice work, but for everything, and it’s one of the simplest things you can do for yourself.
Water is great for weight loss, and appetite control, and it stimulates your lymphatic system, which is how you flush out toxins from your body (and who doesn’t wanna flush out toxins?).
Here are some of the other benefits.
Being hydrated is imperative for voiceover artists because it helps keep your vocal chords lubricated—helping you with voice control and peak performance. And room-temp water is best for the vocal chords and avoid mouth clicks.
And I know drinking a lot of water can be boring or tedious, but here are some delicious—and healthy—ways to enjoy your water and add some actual taste to it.
I’m fond of carbonating my water via Soda Stream.
Because I’m extra, I like to make a gigantic pitcher of natural iced tea to sip on throughout the day. The trick is to steep the tea (1-2 bags) with a small amount of boiling water so it really let’s all the flavor out, and then add room temp water and some ice. You can also add fruit, herbs, and even some cucumber if you want to go full spa on yourself. I’m a big fan of the lemon-cucumber-mint combo myself.
If you really want to maximize the taste make your water the night before so the flavor has time to marinate.
Get better rest
Sleeping well is essential to caring for your voice. If you have trouble getting good sleep, don’t worry—you have lots of company, myself included.
I’ve struggled with insomnia since I was three years old.
Here are a couple of things you can put into practice to improve your sleep and wake up feeling fresh and sounding your best.
Avoid screen time for at least one hour—and up to two hours—before it’s time to close your eyes. It helps if you can put your phone in a different room than your bedroom so you don’t get tempted to reach for it before bed or in the middle of the night. Instead, practice a little meditation, do some journaling or read something that relaxes you and soothes your mind.
Also, avoid blue light for several hours before bed. Even switching your light bulbs to warm makes a difference.
Cool your place down. All the science suggests we sleep better in a cool environment. Plus, it makes being under the covers that much cozier.
Warming your voice up is also an opportunity to get you in the ZONE.
And you want to be in the ZONE!
You have to do warmup exercises lead to better preparation, and better preparation leads to the vocal control you need to ace your auditions. This is a way to ensure you don’t compromise the quality of your first few auditions or the work you start your day with.
Practice also makes perfect, and it focuses you. That’s what being in the zone is, and everyone has to be in the zone—no matter what they do—in order to deliver their best work.
If you’re wondering how to warm up, you can sing along to your favorite tunes, read your book aloud or pull out the old vocal chants you picked up in theatre school. Choose anything that warms your voice up and brings a smile to your soul.
Enough with my tips! Give me some of yours!!!!
Please let me know if you intend to adopt any of my ideas, or if you have a self-care tip you swear helps bring out your best voiceover work.