In this day and age, connection has become synonymous with email, social media, and zoom calls. Technology is great... but honestly, many of us still feel disconnected. We've lost what's known as the social touch - spoken words of encouragement over coffee, a hug of support from a coworker. That genuine one on one connection with another human being. We can't all meet in person right now, so what can we do to feel more connected?
It's really as simple as writing a handwritten card.
Seems silly, but studies have shown that receiving a note from someone you care about can lessen the affects of social isolation - which we are all experiencing, some more than others.
The act of sending a handwritten card takes work.
You have to find the perfect stationary or card. Think about what to write. Find an address, buy stamps, take your handwritten card to a mailbox or the post office. Writing takes work. But the recipient knows that, and making that effort means the world to the recipient - especially a person who feels lonely, isolated, overwhelmed, depressed... you've done something to show that person you care. A handwritten card can make ALL the difference.
I don't know what to write about in a handwritten card.
There is ALWAYS something to write about. The most important part? Be genuine. Don't overthink your note. Hearing "your voice" is more important in a handwritten card, than perfect words & punctuation.
Here are some great ideas for you to use when you write your handwritten card:
- Share a memory.
What do you see in your mind's eye when you think of that person? Is it a fishing trip you went on? The awesome pies they used to make? Their willingness to be your rock and listen? Tell them about that memory and how it makes you feel.
- Send a handwritten note of thanks.
Are they a nurse, teacher, police officer, front line worker? Tell them how much you appreciate them - and why. Say thank you.
- Remember an event.
Birthdays, Anniversaries, Weddings, Baby Showers, Graduation, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, National Brother or Sister Day, National Apple Pie Day... so many events. But the key here is to not just say "Happy Birthday - Love, your mom". Add "Remember when we did "this" when you were 5 years old? I wish we could do that again! Let's make a plan." Add a couple extra lines. Make it personal.
- Think about the future.
So many of us haven't been able to do the social events or activities we enjoy. Think about what you wish you could do, and who you wish you could do them with. Write that person a handwritten card, and tell them all about your future hopes and dreams. "I can't wait to go to that concert with you" or "I can't wait to come to Vermont and go for a hike with you." Describe what you want to do in a handwritten note. Make plans! We all need something to look forward to. Spread that excitement to those you want to be with.
- Just say Hey, I'm thinking about you.
A handwritten card can be as simple as "Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, I'm so happy to have a friend like you!" Tell someone how much they mean to you.
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I challenge you to send a handwritten card to family, friends, coworkers, old roommates, a teacher who inspired you... just pick one of so many people out there who would love to hear from you... and send a card today.