Send the Thank You
Do you send thank-you notes? Or are they more of an “I’ll get to that later” kind of thing. Stop sitting on the most important note you could be writing and just send the thank you.
Think about this. You send a gift for a baby shower or a wedding or even graduation and you never receive a thank you note in return. As the gift sender, how do you ever know that they got the gift?
You don’t want to have an awkward conversation about it in the middle of the grocery store one afternoon. It’s a bit tacky to have to ask if they got the gift you sent.
As the gift receiver, you surely don’t want that awkward conversation, especially if it was a gift that wasn’t in your taste. The sender doesn’t need to know you hated it or that you exchanged it, they just need to know that you got it. By sending the thank you you can easily overt all of these less than pleasant encounters.
Those of us that go above and beyond to do special things for the loved ones in our lives feel pretty damn disappointed when we aren’t thanked for the kind gesture we put out there.
I’m not talking about an excessive amount of thank you cards flying out of your card box. I’m talking about sending the thank you card for the kind gifts and the big things that people do for you. Return the kindness by letting them know you got the gift and that you appreciate their kindness and them thinking about you.
I'm the first to admit the number one reason I send happy mail is because I'm selfish. I like the way writing that letter and dropping it in the mail makes me feel. I do it for personal satisfaction. That personal satisfaction leads to a lighter mood and lessens the stress from the daily grind. If you start by making the action about you and focus on the joy it brings you, you may feel less stressed and just might smile a little more.
I love this article that Occasionette wrote in 2018, Writing Holiday Cards as Self Care. Sending cards really shouldn't be just one more to-do thing that we're checking off our to-do lists. Writing personal notes should bring joy as you write. It shouldn't be something that causes extra stress in our lives. To avoid adding stress to what should be an enjoyable thing, don't put any expectations on what happens after you send the letter and never expect something in return. If a card or letter is returned that's a bonus, not a requirement or a reason for a let down from sending yours.
The Five Reasons You Need to Start Writing Letters Today on forbes.com stated that "having a pen pal and writing more can help ease anxiety, loneliness and even relieve stress." While writing a letter may not be a replacement for face to face contact it has shown elements of deeper connection. "Some studies have shown boosts to mood and reductions in stress from expressive writing."
There is value in writing and sending happy mail. For more on the value of sending cards check out my post The Value of Cards & Sending Them.