1 in 10 Mississippians have suffered from low self-esteem during the pandemic, reveals research.

Published 1:53 pm Friday, April 16, 2021


  • 16% admit they have drunk alcohol to try and ease negative feelings about their self-confidence.
  • Almost 1/2 of those who experience low self-esteem say this has been worse than previous years.
  • Infographic included.

It’s no secret that spending months on end slumped around the home in a pair of sweatpants, with limited social contact can make your self-esteem take a sharp nosedive. Additionally, a combination of health complications, financial difficulties and a harsh winter during which many will have been affected by seasonal affective disorder, could mean that it may be difficult to look in the mirror every day and feel good about ourselves.

AdCare Treatment Centers conducted a survey of 3,000 respondents and found that over 1 in 10 Mississippians (12%) say they have suffered from low self-esteem during the pandemic (compared to a national average of 20%). On a national scale, and when tallied by gender, this figure was found to be 22% of women, as compared to 16% of men.

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Infographic showing low self-esteem results across the United States

The research found that 16% of respondents say they have attempted to ease negative feelings about their self-confidence and self-esteem by drinking alcohol. For some people who struggle with low self-esteem, substance use – such as drinking alcohol – may be a coping mechanism for when this feeling arises. Concerningly, 1 in 10 believe alcohol helps alleviate feelings of low self-esteem.

It was also discovered that 42% of of those who experience low self-esteem say these negative feelings have been worse than previous years in the months during the pandemic.

If you find your mood changes with the seasons, you might be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder This is actually a form of depression some people experience and is associated with the biochemical changes that occur in the brain when an individual is exposed to less sunlight and an altered internal clock, or circadian rhythm. More than 1 in 5 (22%) respondents who feel down during the winter months say they drink alcohol in an attempt to make themselves feel better.

A recent study indicates that approximately 50% of all people who struggle with a mental health disorder will also experience a substance use disorder at some point. For this reason, it’s important to stay cognizant with your mental state, especially during the winter months during which you may be feeling even lower due to the weather.

Here are 3 tips to help boost your low self-esteem during the pandemic:

  1. Check in with your mind

Especially if you’re isolating on your own, it can be easy to forget to check in with yourself and your mental state on a regular basis as there is no one around to remind you to do so. If you struggle with focusing on mindfulness, try out different activities which could help calibrate you such as journaling, yoga, meditation or breathing techniques. ‘Headspace Guide to Meditation’ is even available to stream on Netflix if you prefer something more visual.

  1. Identify and replace negative self-talk

Lack of communication with other humans leaves more time for us to talk to ourselves, however, when we lack self-confidence, these words can be negative and harmful to our bodies and minds. Identify situations in which you doubt yourself the most; perhaps it’s during Zoom meetings at work or maybe it’s first thing in the morning when you wake up to a messy house. Instead of being critical, try replacing these words with positive, self-affirming ones. You could even write affirmative quotes on Post-it Notes to stick to your mirror!

  1. Hype yourself up

We all have people who act as our personal cheerleaders throughout daily life. Perhaps it’s a work colleague who you’ve grown close to over the years or maybe it’s your best friend who’s helped you on your path to self-love. Either way, not having these loyal people around to hype you up due to social distancing may have an impact on your self-esteem. It’s not as easy to feel confident if no one is encouraging you to do so. It may sound strange at first but try talking yourself up before a task or responsibility you feel nervous about. Repeat things like “I have the power to…” and “I can do this…” in a way which allows you to be your very own cheerleader.