WELLNESS & SELF-CARE · December 22nd, 2020

Preserving a Sense of Belonging in a Time of Separation

by Turpin Mott


There’s a basic human need that’s often overlooked because it’s not as obvious as our physical requirements for food, water, or shelter – but it’s essential for our overall well-being. It’s our need for belonging.

The need dates back to our prehistoric ancestors, whose survival depended on group activities like hunting, gathering, and protection. As such, our natural inclination is to seek connections with one another. Our relationships and interactions bring us support, love, and acceptance. They make us feel valued, remind us we’re not alone, and decrease the negative impacts of stress and hardships on our personal wellness.

With a new year in full swing, and the pandemic still keeping many of us apart, we must challenge ourselves to preserve our sense of belonging. To get started, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. Who in my life has given me love and belonging?
  2. Who have I provided love and belonging to?
  3. How can I better show and share love and belonging to others?

After you consider the answers to these questions, find a way to bridge the distance. How you connect is not as important as the act. Here are some actions you might try:

  • Call family and friends via video so that you can see their smiles
  • Experience the sunrise together on video or the phone
  • Schedule regular virtual social activities – whether it’s dinner, book club, or trivia night
  • Take frequent walks with your dog, cuddle with your cat or other pets (animals need love and belonging, too!)
  • Digital fatigue? Write a letter!
  • Remind those you love and care for why you’re grateful for them today

Belonging was, and always has been, necessary for our survival. Over the next few weeks, I will continue to reach out to family and friends who have given me the priceless gift of belonging and love. As we soon open our eyes to a new year, I hope you’ll do the same.

For more resources on empowering yourself and your team, visit the Community Team page on NVA Share here.

Turpin Mott


Support Center | Boulder, CO

Turpin officially joined NVA in July 2015 after having worked as a consultant with the company for the previous eight years in a variety of organizational development roles. He has extensive experience in facilitating and guiding leaders and teams to increase efficiency, capacity, and collaboration. He helps create solid foundations for individuals and teams based on accountability, integrity, authenticity, and responsibility which directly impacts the success of the organization. Turpin is also a Combat Action Veteran, having served with the United States Marine Corps in Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. He attended Louisiana State University.

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