I did an event recently where I had to leave before the end of the event. I always hate doing it, but often I find I need to go to rest. I would love to stick around for that drink and chat afterwards but….
Like many singers, my health is a huge part of taking care of my instrument. I’ve tried all sorts of therapies and doctors to help keep it on an even keel, but the 1 thing I find which is a struggle is the stress. I know it’s had a huge impact on my physical body because of the extreme highs and lows of someone who has chosen a career where the common cold can cause irreparable damage to my instrument, if it is not looked after.
Let me step back a few paces and explain a bit of my story. As a child I caught every illness in close proximity. Now-a-days, I’m at a point where I hardly get a cold or flu, mostly allergy problems. Something I didn’t understand as a child. It seems I’m allergic to dust, so if I do catch a cold, which normally only should last a week, at the most, I suffer for longer, as it turns into an allergic reaction because my poor body is always fighting off the dust allergy, but gives up the ghost when a cold hits. So all those years I was thinking I’ve got no resistance to colds was a misunderstanding that I’m really someone who is on constant allergy fighting mode.
Now-a-days, I take much better care, but it has taken its toll. I have to adjust my lifestyle a lot to help give my body the rest it needs. As I see it, my poor immune system is constantly having to fight various dusts (new country; new dirt; new problem adjusting or new room; new dirt; new problem adjusting or animal;….well you get the gist of it!), so my immunity is on 24/7 max level, rather than moderate for someone without such an allergy. It’s not surprising I used to catch everything going and get tired so easily. I’m now changing lifestyle and eating habits as my body is tired from the irregular, stressful lifestyle of a performer.
I often wonder if I seem like the diva that leaves parties early, leaving others to wonder if I’m just too good for them, but really it’s not true! I just need a good nights rest, which I don’t think is a bad thing for anyone, but it’s particularly true for those of us who work such peculiar hours. It’s not great for my comradely, but it’s for my voice and health. Seems a bit of a catch 22, as being social and networking is a huge part of getting work, so now I try to do a little of both, but in moderation – ah, that age-old adage.
What’s a poor singer to do? So the next time you see that singer who leaves earlier than the rest, consider they may have to, rather than want to…;)
Enjoy the holidays; hope they are restful and healthy!
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