The Struggle is Real

The Struggle is Real by Ebonie Jones
Poverty, crime, nuclear meltdown, global warming, unemployment and over-population are just a few items on the list of 21 Century problems. In addition to these issues, we also have to deal with the stressors that come with simply being alive. Stressors such as bills, relationships, illness, death, and temptations that seem impossible to escape. To say that life is difficult is an understatement.  It’s brutal. Sometimes life feels more like warfare than a mere struggle.

If global and day-to-day issues leave adults overstressed and bewildered, imagine the impact on teens and young adults, who are constantly bombarded with sex, drugs, peer pressure, questions regarding identity, and bullying. According to the CDC (www.suicide-datasheet-a.pdf), in 2015, death by suicide was the third leading cause of death among ages 10-14, the second leading cause of death among ages 15-34, and the fourth leading cause of death among ages 35-44. Sadly, the pressures of life are so overwhelming that death is an option for many individuals. However, despite all the moving parts, there is much to live for.

Here are 7 ways to keep moving forward
  1. Get a support group. This could comprise of close friends and trusting family members, or a group of individuals dealing with a similar issue. Solitude has its place, but isolating one’s self for extended periods of time is not a healthy coping mechanism, compromises our mental health, and hampers our ability to make progress.
  2. Seek professional counseling. Speaking with a psychologist or counselor means that we love ourselves enough to address our psychological and emotional needs. To seek guidance in a safe space speaks volumes of our character and maturity and should be a part of our self-care routine.
  3. Celebrate small victories. Celebrate the very act of waking up and getting out of bed. When life gets overwhelming, it’s difficult to start the day either because we’re dealing with depression, or because we’re simply avoiding reality. Plan the night before and schedule a fun, exciting event to look forward to the following day.
  4. Be grateful. At the end of each day make a gratitude list or keep a gratitude jar. It’s always fun to look back and take inventory of the joy that surrounds us. Joy fosters a sense of hope and hope fuels perseverance. The art of being grateful is simply redirecting our focus on all we possess instead of focusing on what we don’t have.
  5. Get creative. Learn something new or start a hobby. According to, there is a relationship between creativity and gratitude. Being grateful makes us happy and a more positive attitude boosts productivity and creativity. When life seems to be spiraling out of control, create something. In creating, we regain control in that moment of time.
  6. Find someone to help. When we’re dealing with our own issues, it’s difficult to extend ourselves and offer assistance. However, volunteering is a great way to offer our time and service. It gives us the opportunity to empathize with others and offers a new perspective. If this person, facing this battle, can find strength for tomorrow, we can as well.
  7. Pray and meditate. Sometimes we just need to take time out and unload. Talking to God and meditating on His word might be all we need to take us to the next moment.

The struggle is real, but folding under pressure is optional. Hang in there because you never know how things will change tomorrow.

About the Author

Ebonie Jones

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Ebonie-Marché Jones is the Bonding Ministry Cordinator at MyGen Church. Her mission is to encourage, motivate and inspire others to start with God, to develop the mindset of an overcomer, to make healthier lifestyle choices and to connect with others in safe spaces filled with love, support and encouragement. Her journey has taught her that it is impossible for fear and faith to co-exist and the road to peace is paved with forgiveness. Her favorite verse is "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago" (Eph. 2:10, NIV).

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