Chassity Jackson, founder of Battle Beauties Fashion, worries about falling back into depression over money.

Courtesy: Chassity Jackson

Chassity Jackson worries about her financial future.

While the 42-year-old Air Force veteran is now financially secure, that hasn’t always been the case.

Two years ago, she lived in a car with her 11-year-old son and suffered from anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I didn’t know where my next meal was coming from,” said Jackson, who lives in Destin, Florida.

“Finances were very sparse,” she added. “That’s awful as a mother.”

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She is now a part-time graduate student, president of Boots on the Ground International Ministries, which serves children and homeless veterans, and has her own fashion company, Battle Beauties Fashion.

“I’m in a good place, but I also have a remnant of fear because I never want to go back to this trauma,” said Jackson, who is incapacitated.

While past trauma can certainly affect current financial mental health, it is a huge step to realize that there is something that makes Jackson anxious, said licensed marriage and family therapist Dr. George James, chief innovation officer and senior personal therapist for the nonprofit Council on Relationships.

“Sometimes we’re on autopilot and don’t even realize we’re making financial decisions because of past injury or pain,” he said.

There are a number of reasons why people feel anxious or stressed out. The Covid-19 pandemic is a big one for many. Just over 40% of adults in the United States reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder during the crisis, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

If there are money problems it can certainly have an impact on your mental health, according to James, a member of the CNBC Invest In You Financial Wellness Council.

“Money connects to security, and if there is something that could take our money away, like the Covid pandemic, it takes our security,” he said.

Take steps to feel more secure, such as: For example, a re-evaluation of your retirement plan, a reduction in your expenses, or a conversation with a financial advisor.

Also, take time to care for yourself.

“When we’re so stressed, or overwhelmed, or tired, or our moods are not optimal, we can sometimes make bad financial decisions,” said James.

He suggests taking a break before making a decision so you can really think about whether it is the right move.

Of course, it’s hard to be completely stress-free. The key is finding ways to reduce stress in the midst of the stress, he said.

“Take a deep breath,” said James. “Walk.

“Have people to talk to so you can get out of the stress.”