While most instrumentalists fear overuse and the muscle pain associated with it, vocalists see overuse manifest itself in them losing their voices. Again, the best defense is good technique, but illness or overuse will compromise even the best technique.
My favorite tactics to avoid losing my voice (and/or recover quickly from losing my voice) are:
1- Drink water
Keep those folds lubricated! Your body needs an obscene amount of water just to function anyway, so just keep drinking that water!
2- Use a humidifier/take a shower
Inhaling moist air gets the moisture directly to your vocal folds. Hydration for the win again!
3- Lip trills!!!
These are such a great exercise because they will tattle on you if you are not using enough air. If you are not using enough air, you are most likely compensating with muscle strain – not good. So when you’re already feeling like your voice is a little weak, you definitely want to use the tattle tale to help double check that you are using the best technique you can!
4- Lymphatic drainage massage
This is like magic. Check out how to do it here: https://youtu.be/QA-wi0d7-Ro
5- Sinus rinse
I understand that this is definitely something that takes getting used to, but you can read more about the benefits here: https://www.aentassociates.com/the-benefits-of-a-nasal-rinse/.
My tips for making this the most useful:
-use a sinus rinse bottle rather than a neti pot – the pressure from the bottle is easier to deal with in my experience
-make sure to use distilled water, not water out of your tap
-after you rinse, roll your head around slowly to encourage any water left in your sinuses to drain.
6- Gargle with salt water
This is a pain in the butt, but it helps relieve pain and inflammation.
If you lose your voice frequently, you may need to talk to a doctor (specifically an ENT or an allergist, depending on your situation) to help you get to the bottom of why you are losing your voice regularly. In addition to illness, allergies and reflux can contribute to frequent voice loss, and they can set the stage for making you more susceptible to sinus and laryngeal infections.