Teachers making wellness a priority as COVID-19 causes uncertainty in education

Many who are remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic is stressed as it's uncharted territory, whether you're a student, parent, or teacher.

Some stressed-out Arizona teachers are embracing new ways to cope with the challenging times by choosing to make their wellness a priority.

“I’m trying to work at home, my husband’s working at home, and I have two little ones at home I’m helping with their schooling," explains Barry Goldwater High School Teacher, Kristi Hurlburt.

She's one of the thousands of teachers trying to navigate the new normal where she’s part educator, part technical support.

Hurlburt decided that her physical and mental health couldn’t be put on hold any longer, saying, “I made my own commitments on my own health and wellness as we go into this new phase of COVID as we get back to the classroom."

She's committed to the wellness program offered through her Valley Schools insurance, saying everything from on-demand yoga to meal advice and workout challenges, have been vital during this challenging time.

“It was fun. There was just a challenge last week, whoever joined the challenge and got the most steps, won. So we’re challenging each other trying to be healthy, which is exciting," she said.

Hurlburt isn't the only one. The program itself has seen more teachers joining the ranks looking for some self-care when it can be tough to come by.

“We saw a lot more people participating. A lot more people jumping in, people really looking to us trying to provide support and answers and help," said Kendall Taylor, Valley Schools Wellness Director.