Self-esteem 'takes a hit' for 24% of people in region during pandemic

Low self-esteem is higher among women, according to new research

Low self-esteem is higher among women, according to new research - Credit: Relate

Almost a quarter of people in the East of England have seen their self-esteem fall during the pandemic, according to the charity Relate.

Research found that 24% of people in the region said their self-esteem was lower than before Covid-19, slightly higher than the national figure of 23%.

By contrast, 16% of those questioned in the region said their self-esteem had increased - lower than the 20% figure for the UK as a whole.

The new report, The Way We Are Now 2021, has been released by relationships charity Relate and relationship website eharmony during Relationships Week, July 5 to 11. During the week, Relate Norfolk and Suffolk wants to encourage people to work on arguably the most important relationship of all - the one with themselves.  

Relate counsellor Holly Roberts said: “A positive and balanced view of yourself is critical to overall wellbeing and building strong relationships of all kinds.

"It’s great that 16% of people in the East of England feel their self-esteem has increased but for just under a quarter, it has taken a hit.

"As we focus on ‘getting back out there’, don’t forget to take some time to also focus on yourself. Learning to love yourself can mean different things to different people – it might be joining a face-to-face exercise class now that’s possible again, saying no to a social engagement, or getting some support such as counselling.” 

Most Read

The new report combines insights from counsellor focus groups and consumer polling, plus website and service data, looking at how single people and couples have reacted to lockdown easing and identifying key attitude and behaviour changes.

In the study, 66% of those in the East of England agreed self-esteem is linked to success in a romantic relationship.

Good self-esteem is essential for relationships, according to the charity Relate

Good self-esteem is essential for relationships, according to the charity Relate - Credit: Relate

Across the whole of the UK, for people who said their self-esteem decreased during the pandemic, this was driven by inability to socialise with friends and family (48%), money worries (42%) and not prioritising physical health (40%).

Comparison with others on social media (20%) was another key factor. Low self-esteem is currently more prevalent among women than men, with 30% of women saying their self-esteem decreased, compared to pre Covid-19 pandemic, whereas only 15% of men said the same. 

The top reasons for self-esteem increasing compared to pre the Covid-19 pandemic were paying more attention to physical health (33%), people realising how strong they are for getting through a pandemic (24%) and taking up a new hobby (23%).  

Information on services to help boost self-esteem is available at the Relate website.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter