InDependent, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to connect military spouses to local and virtual health and wellness resources, is hosting its 3rd annual Renew You: Military Spouse Wellness Summit the week of March 5-11.

Leslie Brians, creative director and co-founder of the group, says that the virtual summit is available to military and first-responder spouses nationwide, and throughout the week they will have access to interviews by subject-matter experts covering topics about healthy lifestyles, stress management, exercise and financial well-being.

General admission to the summit is free, and registrants will receive an email each day with two audio/video interviews by the experts that they can watch anytime until March 18. VIP tickets are available for $79; VIP ticket holders can permanently download the interviews and have access to the Facebook group that will host discussion groups and Facebook Live sessions. VIP tickets can be purchased anytime throughout the week.

Each morning at 6:15 a.m. EST, Ashley Matejka, the founder of Wellevance, a holistic fitness and wellness program (www.wellevance.com), will host a virtual wellness workshop and offer a daily workout.

Nutritional therapy consultant Amanda Koch (www.mywellbalancedlife.com) will host a daily virtual cooking class at 4 p.m. EST, where viewers can follow along to make healthy dinners and ask questions in the live discussion group. A shopping list will be provided to VIP ticket holders upon registration.

West Coast viewers can watch the video later in the day or week, if they choose, and join in the discussion groups that will be ongoing until March 18. Various experts will be available on the Facebook page for questions and advice.

InDependent was founded by five Army wives in 2015 while they were stationed together at a U.S. Army Base in Germany.

Brians said upon witnessing how many spouses were struggling with the unique situations and stresses that are common among military families, she and her fellow co-founders decided they wanted to do something to help their fellow military spouses find a happier more fulfilling way of living. Thus, InDependent was born.

“We wanted to give back, and we were also able to feed ourselves professionally,” said Brians. “We wanted to give military spouses permission to take care of themselves.”

InDependent has 16 communities in the United States and the original chapter in Germany. Ambassadors are present in each community, hosting meet-ups for members, such as yoga sessions and cooking demonstrations. While there is currently no community in Lemoore, spouses here can join the virtual community for support and access to the group.

“We want to empower spouses no matter where they live,” said Brians.

The virtual community has a Wellness Wednesday blog, where members can share and learn about real wellness journeys from fellow military spouses.

One of InDependent’s goals is to have resource guides for all military bases, providing information about the area, such as health care, shopping and community programs on and off base.

“We want to help spouses make the most of where they are living,” said Brians.

To learn more and to gain admission to next week’s virtual summit, visit www.in-dependent.org.

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