Keep in Touch Through the Mail
Technology has brought us many wonderful, convenient ways to communicate, from the telephone to text to video chat. It’s never been easier to stay in touch with friends and family with a press of a button. As good as all this is, however, one adverse side effect is that technology has turned handwriting letters to keep in touch through the mail into something of a lost art. Use snail mail to stay in touch the old fashioned way, and you’ll see many surprising benefits!
Benefits to Writing Letters By Hand
Writing Keeps You in the Moment
Taking the time to think about what you want to say, and how you are going to phrase it helps you be more present and allows you to choose your words more thoughtfully than you would if you were just dashing off a quick text.
Use It or Lose It
Practicing handwriting is a good way to keep your fine motor skills in shape. If you aren’t used to it, writing in cursive can be a very good brain game! Also, people who primarily type their messages, shopping lists, and notes may find their handwriting and spelling getting worse from the lack of practice and reliance on autocorrect tools.
You’ll make someone’s day! Handwritten notes provide immediate personal connection — taking the time to write something thoughtful and send it through the mail shows the recipient that you were thinking of them in a more significant way than sending an email. Plus, who doesn’t like finding something in their mailbox besides bills and restaurant menus? Receiving an unexpected note from a loved one will make anyone smile!
Give Them Something to Treasure
Sometimes even the simplest of handwritten notes become cherished treasures. If you have a recipe written in your grandmother’s handwriting, or a childhood book with an inscription from a favorite uncle, or have ever saved a funny card containing a note from an old friend, then you understand the instant and powerful connection you feel when you see a loved one’s handwriting. You can easily give this same gift to someone you care about by writing and mailing a sincere note.
Lots of People Would Love to Hear from You
Perhaps writing letters and corresponding through the mail could be an enjoyable use of your time, and opening the mailbox could become something you actually look forward to! Obviously your family and friends would surely be thrilled to receive mail from you, but you can get creative and widen your social circle, too. Here are some other people you might enjoy receiving a nice hand-written note:
- A new pen pal! If you’d like to make a new friend through the mail, this article has tips on how to find a one
- Family and friends who aren’t part of your usual circle. Send a nice note to a friendly acquaintance, or a family member you don’t speak to on a regular basis. They will be surprised to hear from you, and it will make them feel good that you took the time to think of and write to them.
- Your favorite waiter, bank teller, barista, or other service worker. Too often, people in the service industry hear complaints but not compliments. Change that for them by sending a nice note of appreciation!
- A former coworker. Send a note reminding them of a funny time you shared on the job, or how they helped inspire you in your career.
What to Send in the Mail
When you are ready to start your new letter writing hobby, the first step is to buy, or make, cute cards and stationary. If you like to support independent artists, search Etsy for some unique stationary. You can also design personalized cards using your own photos at sites like sincerely.com. Pick up a fresh new pen or two that feels good as you glide it across paper. Make this an enjoyable experience for yourself!
Here are some ideas on what to send in your cards:
- Inspirational Quotes — send your favorite saying to someone who could use a lift
- Appreciation — say “thank you” for a specific kindness, or tell someone a reason why you are grateful to know them
- Special memories & inside jokes — write a note reminding someone of a time together that you still think of often
- Photos — make copies of old photos they might like to have. Or, send prints of places or things that you think will make them smile
- Recipes — write down your favorite recipes to send to family and friends
- Poems — write an original poem…even if it’s bad, it will still be good!
- Random holiday cards — people are used to getting cards at major holidays and birthdays. But has anyone ever received a card at Arbor Day, or National Donut Day? You’ll definitely take them by surprise!
- Postcards from places you haven’t been — order some postcards online and send them from a fictional character and write an original story over the course of several cards. Send them to a friend with a great sense of humor who will be entertained by the mysterious, well-traveled sender!
The USPS website has a large variety of stamp designs for sale that you can buy online — and receive some fun mail of your own!