IN a world of long working hours, the internet and social media it’s sometimes hard to find time to switch off.

Rachel Bettney from Stocksfield realised this was becoming an issue for not only herself, but people around her, and it prompted the start up of her new venture – Mindfulness and Meditation classes.

Rachel completed her training in meditation earlier this year, after finding the techniques helped her with her own struggle with anxiety. She believes taking time out to focus on ourselves is an important part of the process in tackling problems with mental health.

“It’s important for people to see what ways they can help themselves,” she said. “Mental health is becoming more talked about which is good, and it’s important that people can see there’s support out there. But it’s important they can see there are small things they can do themselves which can make a big difference.”

Since completing her training, Rachel has begun delivering her mindfulness and meditation sessions from the recently-opened Miners Lamp cafe in Eastwoods Park, Prudhoe.

The Tuesday evening sessions at 7.45pm have already attracted a group of people in the town.

“It’s something quite relaxing and something a little bit different. It’s nice to have a little bit of time out and a little bit of a break for a while,” explained Rachel.

The 30-minute sessions offer relaxing breathing techniques and guided meditations and visualisations, aimed at quieting the mind and switching off.

She has also been giving voluntary classes at Red Brick Care Home in Prudhoe, but is hopeful that as demand increases she will be able to run more classes around the town, which she will do alongside her work as a carer with disabled children.

“I’m still looking around for other venues,” she said. “I am available for events and one-to-one classes and I have also thought about work places on lunch breaks and even schools at exam times.”