May is a special month for all of us who value the power of speech, the magic of hearing and the pleasure of eating and drinking. That’s right, folks, May is Better Hearing and Speech Month! A time when we can all come together and celebrate the importance of healthy communication, hearing, and swallowing.
Did you know? Speech Therapists and Audiologists are the professionals who assist those who may be struggling with communication, cognition, eating safely, and hearing deficits. But why limit the festivities to just one month? After all, speech, hearing, and eating are important all year round!
Here’s a list of fun ways to celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month any time of year:
Play a Game! A communication-themed game, such as Pictionary, Taboo, Headbanz, Boggle, Scrabble, or The Mind, are great for challenging your communications skills. They require you to express yourself clearly, actively listen, and problem solve to win! Not to mention, playing as a group incorporates an important social aspect as well!
Host a Karaoke Party! Singing is a great way to exercise your vocal cords and improve your speech. Whether you are belting out your favorite tune or singing in the shower, make some time for music this month! Who knows – you may discover a hidden talent!
Try New Foods! Believe it or not, trying new foods and drinks can improve your hearing! That’s right – eating can improve your HEARING! Certain nutrients, like omega-3 fatty acids, can help protect your ears from damage. So, challenge yourself to try new and healthy foods this month. FYI – National Lemonade and Apple Pie Day are also in May. There are TONS of different lemonade flavors to try – roasted peach, lavender thyme, blueberry, strawberry, blackberry mint – so this might be a great place to start!
Communication is the essence of human life”.-Janice Light
Practice Mindful Listening At its most basic sense, mindful listening is taking time to experience what we are hearing in the moment. It’s about being present and patient. Put aside distractions and set your intentions to completely in the moment. Take a breath and take in the sounds around you – birds chirping, wind rustling the trees, laughter. Mindful listening supports being more present – listening is a discipline that takes time and practice.
While Better Hearing and Speech Month is officially celebrated one month out of the year, we can celebrate our ability to speak and communicate, eat and enjoy the foods and drinks we love, cognition and brain health year-round. If you are struggling with any of these items, or have concerns about them, please contact the Functional Pathways Therapy Team for guidance.
One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you cannot utter”.-James Earl Jones