I’m not a doctor or expert but I am like a lot of other performing artists who get anxiety over the reality that our bodies are our instruments. Coming to terms with how we plan on keeping up the maintenance. Learning what works best for ourselves is a journey not without trial and error.
This season has brought to the forefront the fault lines of how I take care of myself both in regular life and when under pressure. I’m not great with setting a strict boundary with myself when it comes to when I go to sleep because I know that no matter how tired I may be I get up in the morning even if it’s after hitting the snooze button once or twice. I don’t have the best relationship with food or hunger queues. These issues get exasperated when I have a busy schedule, deadlines, and any other kind of high pressure type stressors. Yet in the process of betterment, acknowledgment with grace has been a very valuable part in my journey to healing my own relationship with the vessel I will forever call home, and gently reminding myself with love why I wish to change my habits.
During our spring break here at Broadway Bound Live in the mist of rehearsals for “You’re A Catch” I got COVID. This was the second time I’ve ever gotten it so I knew right away and it went by a lot smoother than the first time around. All of my energies were put into getting better in time to not miss any rehearsal. That the moment I was no longer contagious and saw a glimpse of myself getting back to something that looked like normal I swung back into my routine at full speed as I was before. Quickly I was hit with the reality and subsequently the consequences of that. I was in fact not all better. I hadn’t allowed the appropriate amount of rest or recovery. When I came back my mind was foggy, I was fatigued and the symptom that felt like a hand on the shoulder from the universe was that my lungs and throat were fried. Being tired and confused, as frustrating as it was, unfortunately wasn’t a loud enough signal to feel like something had to change, but my voice was gone. It was something that felt more tangible that I couldn’t brush off and it was going to affect my performance in the show which was the wake up call I responded to. I finally took the hint and decided to overhaul my health and take all the well-meaning advice I could to mend my voice back to health. And I learned much more along the way.
Hydration - probably the only habit I have down, water is the closest thing we have to the fountain of youth
Tea! You can never go wrong with warm liquids and better yet with soothing honey
Bonus - I started drinking Gynostemma tea at the advice of my mom as it promotes respiratory health
Vocal Rest - this is directed towards myself, there is no need to be shouting or straining yourself ever especially when you’re not feeling so hot.
Rest in general - Do it!
Bonus things that are not necessary yet I enjoyed
Cough pastilles - I caved and while online shopping got the coveted “every broadway star has these” Grether’s pastilles and I like them.
Lung Tonic - at the advice of a co-worker, I add some drops of it to water 3 times a day. It has mullein and osha root which helps relieve cough plus more delicious herbs.
Portable Nebulizer - this is where I think I got really fancy but as I’ve alway had underlined respiratory issues I thought I’d give it a shot. It is basically a vaporized saline solution to hydrate your vocal chords. And it looks like a futuristic breathing apparatus
Health is king when it comes to showing up as your best self. We are of course mind, body and soul and have to care for ourselves accordingly. Throughout the season I have also kept up with weekly therapy that I’ve had establish for about a year now, to release any tension, thoughts or feelings I may be holding in throughout the week and having go-to grounding exercises that I know work for me have also made all the difference when I start to feel myself drift off of my body. We grow with ourselves through our lives and we adapt to what season brings.
Nurturing the connection and strengthening the awareness of queues from our bodies can not just let us in on how to best take care of ourselves but to mend what else may be underneath. We are as intertwined in our beings as we are to the energies of the world and mending certain issues can have a positive domino effect to others and aid in realign ourselves. body. We grow with ourselves through our lives and we adapt to what season brings. We are regenerating and revitalizing beings and to build back up a good relationship with self should start with gratitude. Your body has survived every storm thus far and gotten you to where you are, pour love into yourself for that alone. Remember you cannot hate yourselves into betterment and doing what's best for you is the truest act of self love.