If there’s one tip a local expert and empowerment coach can give people during a pandemic Valentine’s Day, it's just that.
“I think everyone is really tapped out,” said Olive von Topp, an empowerment coach and burlesque performer in Guelph.
“People are further from self-love than usual.”
She said relationships right now are affected in a number of ways where some couples are not getting enough time together, some are getting too much time together, and some single people just don’t want to be single and are struggling to meet people.
“It's extra hard because your connections that you normally have aren't there,” said Olive von Topp.
Von Topp believes that many women especially feel a low sense of self-worth during this time of the year when Valentine’s Day is in their face and difficult to ignore as a commercial holiday.
“For Valentine’s Day, when they’re single, it's just a reminder,” said von Topp.
“We live in a society that really values relationships and partnering of long term monogamous relationships. That's not everyone's experience.”
Von Topp said it's important to self reflect at this time if reminders are upsetting and one can try to examine their thoughts throughout the day to see what feelings it triggers. And for some people who just want to stay in their feelings, that’s okay too.
“It’s a commercial holiday in your face so it's important to interpret what it means for each individual,” said von Topp.
“Are we making it mean something about being single, are we making it somehow about our worth?”
Von Topp also has some tips for couples and singles seeking advice during the pandemic.
Tips for couples include:
- Differentiating quality of time versus quantity. She says it is more important to have quality time where couples put everything away and just be present with one another.
- Do a relationship check where you can evaluate what you love about your relationship, what you need more of, what made you feel valued etc.
- Access online workshops together on various topics.
- Play games.
For those that are single and seeking advice, von Topp suggests the following:
- Examine your thoughts.
- Do a lot of self-care, whatever that looks like.
- Connect with people you love: It is the day of love, after all. Who do you like spending time with?
- Romance yourself: Write yourself a love letter. Eat your favourite richest foods. Listen to sexy music. Put on a sexy outfit. Touch yourself tenderly. Do whatever makes you feel good, and you might want a partner to provide. You may be surprised at how much you can fulfil your own needs.