In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in the thick of winter right now, and with winter comes warm, tasty mugs of cocoa, comfy sweaters, nights snuggling by the fire, and…colds.

Lots and lots of colds.

As a voice actor, it’s important to take care of yourself. Our money-maker happens to be a part of our body! Missing scheduled recording sessions or auditions because of a sore throat or an illness can cost a VO talent a lot of money–not just in lost wages, but in opportunities like auditions for potential jobs!

Here are 10 tips to stay healthy and keep your voice in tip-top shape this winter:

1. Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water every day—and I mean lots! Half of your total body weight in ounces as a minimum. Without enough water, your voice will sound dry and “clicky” in a recording, and you’ll be at risk for getting even sicker.

2. Move your body at least 30 minutes a day. I’m not saying you need to look like the Hulk to be a successful voice actor (can he even fit in a studio?). But stretching and exercising boosts your immune function, clears your mind, and gets you ready to rock it in that booth!

3. Load up on your Vitamin C! I double up this time of year! Orange juice is your new best friend.

4. Take your sleep very seriously. Good sleep strengthens your immune system and keeps you focused and energized during long sessions. Aim for 8 hours per night.

5. Bundle up! Anyone from a chilly climate knows that winter wind can cut right through you—and right to your vocal cords! Dress warmly and wear a scarf to protect your voice.

6. Sleep with a humidifier. Especially if you live in a desert like Las Vegas, running a humidifier while you sleep keeps your vocal cords hydrated and healthy.

7. Eat clean when possible. Do your best to load up on fruits and veggies, and if dairy makes you congested, avoid it at least an hour before you head into the booth to record.

8. Laugh often and think happy thoughts. This actually boosts your immune system! (Plus, life is just more fun when you’ve got the giggles.)

9. Avoid sick people! Yeah, I know; easier said than done. But if a buddy of yours has the flu, take a rain check on that movie date; your voice will thank you!

10. Limit your time outdoors if you’re really sensitive to the cold. A few minutes in freezing weather can do a nasty number on your health (instant sore throat, anyone?). Be wary of spending all day outdoors in icy winter temperatures.

Remember: your voice is your business! Treat it well and take care of yourself.