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Wellness summit designed with National Guard spouses in mind

Registration is open for the 2021 InDependent Wellness Summit: Be Well! Join service spouses worldwide March 1-6 to listen to this virtual summit on your time; no travel, no childcare, and no missed work.

Spouses of military service members and first responders are invited to enjoy a week of wellness from the comfort of home beginning March 1. The sixth annual InDependent Wellness Summit is a collaborative effort by InDependent and the USO, designed with rest and respite in mind.

Evie King, executive director of InDependent, said the purpose of the summit is to give every service spouse a chance to invest in their wellness.

“We realized that with wellness it should be something that everyone can attend. No matter where they are located, they can invest in their wellbeing,” she said. “For one week a year, military and first responders’ spouses get to come together and say, ‘My wellness matters.’”

For five days, the more than 1,500 expected participants will be emailed two interviews with specialized speakers.

Each expert interview, hosted by Corie Weathers, a licensed professional counselor, will focus on military spouse wellness, King said.

To get the most out of the summit, military spouses are encouraged to take a few hours just for themselves to listen to the interviews each day.

“The whole intention of this summit is to give participants a week of rest and rejuvenation. We want participants to just take some extra time for themselves,” she said. “This is also a week where we don’t want them to feel overwhelmed, so if they can’t listen to all of the interviews during the week that is fine, they’ll have access to them for another week. Because general admission is free, they are not losing out on anything (by attending), they are only gaining that sense of wellbeing for themselves.”

King said that elements of the pandemic and its effect would be interwoven through each topic, but the summit’s goal is to address wellness from a holistic perspective beyond the pandemic.

READ: Guard leaders talk pandemic, readiness, career progression

There will be 10 speakers that will be interviewed on topics including intimacy, assertiveness, financial wellness, and intuitive eating.

One of these speakers is Kelly Hokanson, spouse of Gen. Daniel Hokanson — the current Chief of the National Guard Bureau.

“One of the reasons we wanted to have a National Guard spouse as a keynote speaker is because when it comes to wellness, we think that is an area where we can all come together in encouragement and solidarity, no matter what (branch of service) you are in,” King said.

The agenda also includes Larry Rosen of The Moth, who will speak on the topic of storytelling.

“Often as military spouses, our story is not one that we feel like we should tell because it doesn’t seem exciting. We would rather talk about our service member,” she said. “Larry Rosen will teach us to tell our story. Every story matters and this will empower military spouses to own and tell their stories.”

The summit is free and open to past, present, and future spouses of military service members and first responders. Registration for the event, as well as a full list of keynote speakers and topics, can be found at All-access passes, which include lifetime access to the featured interviews, are also available for purchase on the site.

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