Laughter, Stress Relief, and Self-Care: Recapping Day Two, Session Two of the 2023 InDependent Wellness Summit

by | Mar 12, 2024 | Articles, IWS23, Personal Growth, Self Care

The InDependent Wellness Summit is our free, annual online event for all military and first responder spouses – past, present, and future. Learn more about the program here.

We’re already halfway through the InDependent Wellness Summit recaps, and there’s so much inspiration to be found in each and every interview. If you missed day one, make sure to check out that recap before diving into today!

As you know, the 2023 InDependent Wellness Summit is all about rediscovering ourselves as military spouses. We are focusing on getting back to the roots of who we have always been and reconnecting in ways that can help us get through difficult times in military life. Rediscovering ourselves is not always linear, and it can be done in unconventional ways. 


We start Day 2 with an interview with Ashley Gutermuth. There is no doubt that her name sounds very familiar to many of you. Ashley is a military spouse and comedian who travels around the world and uses social media to share many of the funny parts of military life. Growing up, Gutermuth loved comedy and felt like it was a very important part of her life. When military life became unpredictable, she would find the parts she could laugh about, giving joy in times that were hard. 

Throughout the interview, Gutermuth points out moments when she has been faced with negativity on social media while living “in the spotlight.” Social media really can bring out the worst in people, and she has seen it all. She is able to maintain her happiness and focus on positivity in two main ways. She first stated that, overall, the negative remarks do not bother her because she knows that in order for anything to be popular on social media, there had to be two sides. 

The second way is through “assigning a purpose” to anything hard, negative, or bad. By assigning a purpose and giving it a job, it makes it more positive and useful in our lives. What a fabulous way of finding positivity through any negative times. 

Looking back, she said that very few memorable people within the community followed all the rules. It is because they broke the mold, thought outside the box, and made a difference that they are remembered. Gutermuth is definitely breaking the mold with her comedy and outlook on this life. 

To end the interview, Gutermuth shares two fun and fascinating stories: Trash Pick-Up and Cheese Gate. We don’t want to give it away; you need to go and take a listen yourself! Trust us, not only are these stories so relatable, but they will get you moving to make a positive change in your community too!

“That is where I am best, is when I am doing the same thing every day. But you can only fit so many of those types of things in your day so it makes you really prioritize.”

Ashley Gutermuth


To continue Day 2 feeling inspired, we move to the second interview of the day with Maj. Adhana McCarthy—a military member, military spouse, mom, physician assistant, and certified yoga therapist. She is passionate about showing military members and their spouses how to incorporate yoga and self-care into their lives while rediscovering the parts of themselves that they may have lost along their journey.

She starts by talking about how yoga was something she grew up with. She knew the benefits of it throughout her own life from a young age. When she started her active duty military life with a deployment right out of the gate, she was able to really see how yoga could benefit the military community. Although she was not a teacher at the time, she and others from her squadron would practice basic yoga skills. When a member of their team was lost, she realized that the memorial service was held in that very same room. “I learned then how to be okay when things are not okay.” Yoga prepared them for those harder times and showed them that it is okay to not be okay. 

As military spouses, there are plenty of times in our lives when things are simply not okay. It is good to sit in that discomfort, give ourselves grace, and allow ourselves to discover, or even rediscover, the growth we have done throughout that time. McCarthy shares how, as she journeyed from being an active duty member, dual-duty spouse, stepmom, student, and then mother to her son, all while navigating separation from her spouse and deployments, she was able to look back and “see things grow over time.” McCarthy expresses how she really realized the importance of the community around her. There is such power in community and in proximity.

As spouses are working on rediscovering themselves, it can be hard to balance the goals they set for themselves while also providing support for their active-duty spouse. There is a tension between investing in ourselves and sacrificing. McCarthy shares that her momentum in her life, specifically in regards to yoga and other self-care practices, provided her with support for the ups and downs throughout the different seasons of her life. Make sure to take a listen to this interview for more inspiration! She has lots of insight throughout the entire interview.

“A mentor gave me this beautiful advice: Pick a self-care practice that takes less than five minutes and that’s the thing you do every day. Pick a self-care practice that takes thirty minutes and make sure you do that once a week. Pick a self-care practice that takes a couple hours and then do that once or twice a month.”

Adhana McCarthy

Both of these ladies are full of thought-provoking ways of rediscovering ourselves throughout this military life. This is Day Two of the InDependent Wellness Summit for 2023! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. More recaps will be coming each day this week, so stay tuned. If you missed the recap for Day One, make sure to check it out! 


Noralee Jones is a MILSO of fourteen years, mom of four, and the writer/creator at Mrs. Navy Mama. Having experiences with eight deployments, five PCS moves alone, and the author of the Self-Care Guide for MILSOs, she is an expert on the importance of taking the time to focus on filling our bodies, minds, and souls with our individual needs in order to make the most out of our lives. She is also the Co-Author of The Newbie’s Guide to Military Life and focuses on supporting MILSOs through the ups and downs of military life through Mrs. Navy Mama. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Noralee is a staff writer for InDependent.


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