Small things that connect us

April 4, 2022

Nasreen Lalani

Human connections are valuable. But in this hustle-bustle world of ours, we often feel lost and lonely. 

In some cultures, family is considered an essential support system, and if we are unable to find them around us, that can make us sad and give us a feeling of loneliness. Purdue students may find this all too familiar as many are away from home.

How do we overcome this?

Often, small gestures, such as a smile, a kind word, or a hug, can make a huge impact on our health and wellbeing. The experience of feeling loved brings new energy to our being. Social support and networks can mean a lot, especially during a time of societal crisis, like the COVID-19 pandemic. 

These small gestures provide us a sense of hope and endurance, motivate us to cope and thrive through difficult times in our lives, and promote self-growth. It is helpful to remind ourselves to engage in these small gestures to connect with others.

In recent times, many people have used technology or digital means to connect to others and find happiness. These sources can be great ways to keep connected as long as we are mindful in using them to truly connect rather than browse mindlessly. 

Social connectedness is not limited to only people and friends around us. Some people may find deep connections in nature, art, music, rituals, or faith. These are important areas to draw from in our lives. Small things like noticing beauty and enjoying nature can help us connect with our world in meaningful ways.

We hope you will find more connections through these small steps!

Nasreen Lalani and Ali Hasan Lalani

Dr. Nasreen Lalani is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing. Her experience spans three continents—working in Pakistan, Australia and North America (US & Canada). Dr. Lalani is primarily a qualitative researcher, with a research focus in the areas of aging and palliative care, spirituality and wellbeing, caregiving and resilience in disaster recovery.

Ali Hasan Lalani is an undergraduate student at the University of Alberta in Canada.

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