a woman managing her household chores when living with depression and hiv

HIV, Depression, and Household Management

Exhaustion. Lack of motivation. Blah! It is only noon, yet I feel like today has gone on forever. There is so much that needs to be done around my house. Despite this continuously growing list of things to do, my depression is so loud today. Honestly, it has been loud the last few days.

I live with major depressive disorder. Living with this disease can make life daunting. Major depressive disorder is when a person is in a depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, for at least 2 weeks.1

Major depressive disorder

Major depressive disorder affects how people feel, think, and go about their everyday tasks. This is only part of it. Additionally, major depressive disorder also affects a person's sleep habits, appetite, and ability to enjoy life.1

An individual must experience 5 or more of the following symptoms for at least 2 weeks to be diagnosed with this condition:2

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
  • Decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities or hobbies
  • Drastic weight loss or gain that cannot be attributed to diet
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Psychomotor agitation
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating
  • Recurrent thoughts of death

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Are you coping with depression right now?

Managing the household

When it comes to managing the household, I have learned that I need to prioritize the chores that need to be done. I will physically write them all out.

Once I know what needs to be done, I can formulate a plan to accomplish my household goals.

Set manageable goals

Setting goals is a great method. The challenge is to create manageable goals. If the goals are too big, such as cleaning the entire house on Sunday, then it is harder to accomplish the goal.

On the other hand, you can clean the kitchen one day and do laundry the next day. This one-task-a-day method has given me an overall cleaner house.

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Try to keep tidy

Things can add up over time. By this I mean it helps to keep some things organized as you go.

Examples of this include loading dishes in the dishwasher as you go and fetching the mail every day. Despite my depression, most days I can fetch my mail and separate it into piles. Now I may not open it, but I can fetch my mail.

Enlisting help

Another useful tip is to enlist some help. This can be accomplished in several ways. If you do not live alone, try to delegate some of the tasks to others who live in the household. It can be extra challenging to manage a household with multiple members in it.

Depending on your financial situation, you may be able to hire someone to help care for your household. Teaming up with a house cleaner can drastically assist in maintaining a sanitary home, especially when your depression is severe.


Managing our mental health is always an important task. It is also important to maintain our households in a sanitary fashion. When living with a mental health illness such as major depressive disorder or other form of depression, taking on tasks such as household chores can be more difficult than normal.

Do you live with depression? If so, do you have any tips or tricks to manage your household chores?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The H-I-V.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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