PEOPLE should go to reliable sources for their information and not depend upon social media.

This is the advice in a new guide for people living in Ludlow and south Shropshire.

Shropshire Council has produced a guide to helping people to stay sane and avoid stress as much as possible during the Covid-19 crisis.

Most people will be stressed and worried, but the human mind is conditioned to focus upon threats and negatives.

This is also the nature of news.

Whilst the virus is tragic for a lot of people it easy to forget that the vast majority of people, even who get infected, will recover.

The 22-page guide links to dozens of online resources to help people cope with anxiety relax and have fun during unprecedented times.

Phone helpline numbers are also provided.

It says our brains are predisposed to focus on threat. We tend to forget the everyday things and bring our attention to things which are scary, without taking time to really think about the facts.

It starts with one worry and before we know where we are it’s grown and grown and we’re now headed for a full on catastrophe (the “what if… but then what if…” scenario), even when the likelihood of each possible thing coming true may be minimal. Anxious thoughts get in the way of our minds taking in what we need to know and deciphering fact from fiction.

It emphasises finding a source of information about coronavirus which is reliable rather than relying primarily on social media.

“The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak may cause you to feel anxious, stressed, worried, sad, helpless, overwhelmed, confused or angry. It’s important to remember it is okay to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently to different events.

“Financial pressures can have a significant negative impact on our mental health and can be amplified even more when there is economic uncertainty.”