Overwhelming Depression Makes Daily Tasks Difficult

September 1, 2017 Jennifer Smith


I have been feeling overwhelming depression for the past couple of weeks. Living with a mental illness can make anyone exhausted, turning simple daily tasks into daunting and dreaded foes. My responsibilities loom before me like an abysmal darkness that I cannot escape. Practicing self-care feels impossible. Even thinking about housework or errands exhausts me. Welcome to the hard days of overwhelming depression.

I've been struggling with doing things I know I need to do, such as exercising, showering, getting dressed, and styling my hair. I personally feel better when I wear makeup; however, lately, there have been many days in which I simply haven't had the energy to apply it. The act of getting out of bed has been an accomplishment for me the past few weeks. On some days, that is enough.

With that being said, however, we all must admit that we need to find healthy ways to manage the overwhelming side of depression. Of course, we should seek medical care to help with depression, but there are also some things that we can do to make daily tasks seem less overwhelming for us.

Ideas to Minimize Overwhelming Depression and Complete Daily Tasks

As previously mentioned, sometimes even the act of showering can seem overwhelming to someone with depression. One thing I do is to choose a body wash with a scent that I really like. This way I can look forward to showering because I get to enjoy a pleasant aromatic experience. It's aromatherapy right in your very own bathroom! If I'm feeling extremely tired and overwhelmed, I'll take a bubble bath. I make it extra special by turning off the lights and using candles, and then I play relaxing music. It's a nice way to unwind and practice self-care at the same time (Baths vs. Showers and Why this Schizoaffective Prefers the Bath).

One thing that can be an overwhelming source of stress for me is preparing dinner for my family each night. I have found some ways to make this less stressful and less likely to exacerbate my depression. First of all, I create a weekly menu and post it on the refrigerator. I make the grocery list and shop for the week. This way, everyone knows what's for dinner, and I have all the ingredients on hand. Second, my older daughter helps plan the menu and often cooks dinner one or more nights a week. Finally, my teens help clean the kitchen almost every night. This is a good plan for a couple of reasons. Not only am I finding ways to feel less stressed and overwhelmed, but my teens are learning valuable life skills and empathy as well.

I've also found that on my hardest days with depression, when I'm feeling the most overwhelmed, that if I can manage to do one small task, then eventually more will follow. Often that initial step is the hardest. I suggest starting small and breaking your tasks into manageable chunks. If you do just one thing today, then that's great.

Build small rewards for yourself into your chores and self-care routines. Enlist the help of friends and family; have plans in place before you start feeling overwhelmed. Find ways to make your depression less overwhelming. It is difficult, but we can manage our depression and learn to be productive, even when we're feeling overwhelmed.

APA Reference
Smith, J. (2017, September 1). Overwhelming Depression Makes Daily Tasks Difficult, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 16 from

Author: Jennifer Smith

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September, 2 2017 at 6:04 pm

this is a beautiful and honest post. I can relate to all of it, and it hits home. I am glad to have read it.
Many times i have struggled with the guilt i always feel after failing to do the things am supposed to do, due to the weakness and "zoning out" that depression causes. Hence i find myself always getting worse. Now i can see that i have to be kind to myself and accept that there is an overwhelming side to depression.
Thank you

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 3 2017 at 5:43 am

I’m glad to hear that this is a post that you can relate to. I want to be sure that I’m connecting with my readers. I’m happy to know that I’ve helped to alleviate some of your guilt. Being overwhelmed is certainly a part of depression, and we have to learn to accept that and make strides where we can.

October, 23 2017 at 10:40 am

This really is a beautiful post, Jennifer. Thank you for your vulnerability.

Merci Vadeboncoeur
September, 9 2017 at 2:32 am


September, 11 2017 at 3:18 am

Thank you for sharing. I have just recently been diagnosed with moderate to severe depression stemming from a Traumatic Brain Injury I sustained 42 years ago. I know and understand the struggle you are going through. My therapist wants me to keep a journal, but I don't write anything longhand, so I decided to start a Blog, which helps me, but I'm hoping that it will also help others.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 11 2017 at 12:55 pm

Thank you for reading and commenting. I am glad to hear that you started a blog. Writing has been quite therapeutic for me. I look forward to reading your blog.

Brittany Murphy
September, 12 2017 at 2:30 am

Hello! Thanks for your post!! I understand that difficulty with feeling like getting out of bed is such a difficult task. I recently realized that I can cut short that internal conversation I have with myself in the mornings. When I feel that resistance and that internal dialogue about not wanting to get up, I just cut it off and say nope! and I just stand up. You can always lie back down if you regret standing up, but so far I've never regretted it.
I wrote a blog post about it.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 12 2017 at 11:58 am

That's a good plan. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to reading more on your blog.

September, 17 2017 at 6:53 pm

I just get tired of anxiety and depression. It wears a person down. It is wasted days that you can never get back. It is a repeated cycle. Being active definitely helps.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 18 2017 at 4:36 pm

Yes, depression and anxiety can definitely be exhausting. I also find that being active helps, even if it's just doing something as simple as a quick walk or tackling one task on your to-do list.

April, 2 2018 at 7:30 pm

My friends on school always has a plan to bring me down :( idk how to live on this life. I wanted to drop out but, yeah, my parents seemed like they dont agree. Please, help

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 3 2018 at 5:18 pm

Hello, Jessy, I'm glad you reached out for help. Have you ever thought about why you've chosen to be friends with people who bring you down? Could you try to find a new group of friends who would encourage you and build you up? Are the people who try to bring you down the only reason you want to drop out of school? It's good that you've talked this over with your parents. It's important to have a support system. Like I mentioned previously, see if you can start by making some new friends who encourage you.

Brynja Sandhals
December, 24 2021 at 11:09 am

I'm always feeling overwhelmed with daily tasks, I don't shower for weeks, and my laundry is always piling up. My boyfriend asks me to do my laundry almost every day, but somehow I cant get myself to do it. I've asked him to just sit with me while I do it because it would motivate me more if I had someone to hang out with, but he just doesn't understand and it seems like he wont. I was hoping you'd have some advice on how to get those around you that you love to help and understand. Really struggling here.

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