Greetings from a sunny crisp winter day in Tokyo! I’ve now passed the halfway mark of self-isolation and am enjoying it so far. This is a short post to share some of my tips and learning, which may or may not be useful for you!
- Tip: Make a plan each day. Knowing that there’s 14 days of limbo can seem like a good chance just to relax, do nothing, and veg out in front of the TV, but for me I feel lethargic and heavy if I do this. Instead, I have tried to set out particular tasks or quotas to aim to complete. Nothing massive or overly regimented, but a few things which at the end of the day I can say, I did this.
- Learning: Be OK about breaking those plans. This might seem like a contradiction, but having a flexible spirit and listening to my body has been important. If I decided to do an hour’s practice in the afternoon, and instead have fallen asleep, it’s no biggie. I still think it’s better to have had a plan and allow that wiggle room.
- Learning: jet lag is harder to shift during isolation. In the past, the way I overcame jet lag was to be out and about in the first few days after landing. Without that, and with a bed nearby at all times, the temptation to nap has been too strong and I’m still not quite there. Then again, 14 days is plenty of time so I hope in a week’s time I can report that I’m functioning in Japan time.
- Tip: bring plenty of non-work distractions. I’ve ended up scheduling in UK calls most evenings, but during the day it can get repetitive without hobbies. I’ve got a few books on the go (including Ulysses which in hindsight I might tackle in the New Year and start with re-reading the Odyssey), as well as an online knitting diploma, some crochet and knitting projects, and some spinning on my Turkish spindle. It seemed mad to pack so much, but I regret nothing!
- Tip: Practice every day, but don’t overdo it. This is my personal system, but I have found it important to get my clarinet out each day. I’m probably averaging 2-3 hours, which for someone with the whole day available isn’t much, but it’s an amount where I (hopefully) don’t create weird habits and can stay focused. Having said that there was one day when the jet lag was mega and even 30 minutes of scales felt like practicing at 3am, so I swiftly packed it in for the day. Speaking of clarinet, I was gifted this delightful curio!
That’s all for now, I’ll get back to my daily tasks and see you all in a week or so!