Yesterday I was a guest on a Facebook Live and was asked how I've been navigating these covid times from a networking standpoint. Since I teach networking as a consultant and trainer, they specifically wanted to know how I maintain relationships when we aren't seeing people face to face? My response: I send happy mail.
And no, I don't mean an e-mail, a text or even liking a post on instagram. I am talking about going old school and sending an actual snail mail. Think about the last time you got something in your mailbox that wasn't a bill, junk mail, or candidate mail leading up to election day. To cite a well known quote, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel (Maya Angelou)." When you go to the mailbox and receive a handwritten note, card or care package from a friend or colleague, how does that make you feel?
Many people are struggling mentally right now as the level of isolation and lack of socialization is getting to us after all these months. If you can do a small gesture to brighten someone's day, it will not only make you feel good, but it will give them a much needed boost and remind them they have a support system - even if they can't see you face to face right now. As we get deeper into the cold weather, and our social distancing comfort levels vary, happy mail will be even more important.
In the Spring I took a free class online at Yale called The Science of Well Being, or as some call it, "The Happiness Class." As my final project I sent personal cards or notes to 30 people over 30 days. The act of writing these cards and notes helped me feel happier, and the boost it gave to the people who received them was even greater. This class is still available at no cost online and I highly recommend it. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
Here are a few resources I use personally to help me send Happy Mail to my network:
1. The Touchnote app. Create cards or notecards or send out ones already created all through an app. You can write personal notes and then provide the sender info and they will be sent out.
2. Send out Cards. A similar program for cards.
3. Greetabl. Send out personalized gifts through this site.
4. Care Enough. Check out Hallmark's care enough campaign. In the Spring they offered one million free sampler card packs which I took advantage of but now you can purchase cards from this line and follow the hashtags to see the impact the cards are having on others. (See sampler pack in the above photo)
Remember, you don't have to commit to 30 days of sending Happy Mail. Start out with one friend today and then ask them to pay it forward!