10 Reasons People are Feeling Guilty during the Lockdown

Over ten million UK adults have been struggling with feelings of guilt during the lockdown period, according to new research commissioned by

The financial comparison website commissioned an independent survey of more than 2,000 UK adults.

It found that 20% (equating to 10.2 million people nationwide) have significant and regular feelings of guilt due to how they are behaving and using their time during the pandemic – millennials (37%) are far more likely than those aged over 55 (6%) to feel this way.

These are the ten more common reasons people have been feeling guilty over the past three months:

  1. Not exercising enough (36% of respondents said this causes them to feel guilty)
  2. Not speaking to friends and family more (36%)
  3. Spending too much time on their smartphone (29%)
  4. Not saving more money (26%)
  5. Not learning a new skill (26%)
  6. Not donating money to charity (24%)
  7. Doing too much online shopping (23%)
  8. Not supporting local businesses (23%)
  9. Not properly assessing and taking care of their finances (21%)
  10. Being less environmentally friendly than normal (21%)

Interestingly, as many as 18% of people feel bad for not applauding NHS workers on a Thursday evening.

Elsewhere, the research found that a fifth (19%) of people feel guilty that they have been physically unaffected by the virus while so many others have suffered. A similar number (17%) are annoyed at themselves for having broken social distancing rules.’s study also revealed that 35% of UK adults’ mental health has been adversely affected by the lockdown. However, half (50%) are anxious about social distancing measures being relaxed and things returning to normal – women (56%) are more likely to feel this way than men (44%).

John Ellmore, director of, said:

“The lockdown has been a strange, challenging and completely unique period for everyone. Clearly, among the many things people have had to contend with at this time, inner feelings of guilt are among the most common – millions are beating themselves up for what they have done, or not done, during the lockdown.”

“With more spare time and fewer distractions, it is easy to convince oneself that you ought to be running marathons, learning a new language, writing a novel, saving money and donating to charity simultaneously. But people must not be too harsh on themselves – this is a difficult period for many people, and as long as they are acting responsibly and doing the things that matter to them, that is more than enough.”

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

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