A Few Tips on How to Write Great Get-Well Notes


Being the frequent recipient of get-well cards as well as sender, I can well appreciate the efforts of the senders. I realize how challenging it can be to say exactly what you mean to say and evoke the proper response from the one you’re sending it to. I think it’s even more challenging to write a well-termed note to someone enduring chronic ailments since “get better soon” really isn’t going to be the reality.

Here are a few suggestions of how to make the note as personal and well meant as possible:
Choose a card that is well versed
Meaning, if you have a choice between a blank note card and a card that has a pre-written, but not quite appropriate expression on it, choose the blank note card. It’s better to choose a blank card that has a fitting picture on it than to have words on the card that do not fit the situation adequately. In fact, finding a card that fits the person’s personality perfectly shows even more forethought! What a kind way to show that you really spent some time and effort on them.
Yes, I am a former teacher, but that’s not why I think this is such an important step! And I don’t mean that you need to formally draft your note and go through all of the writing stages, although if you’re uncomfortable, that might be just the ticket to getting your brain jogged to saying what you want. But I do mean, that you should spend some time thinking in your head what you want to say BEFORE you put pen to paper. Jot down a few ideas on a scrap piece of paper if it will help. But think before you write. That’s all!
Focus on them
I have received many a well-meant note that the writer spent their entire note writing about their lives, and even worse, complaints. From beginning to end, it was basically her means to vent. Please remember that this get-well note is a gift to them. Therefore, it should address what’s going on with their lives right now. Don’t condescend. Don’t focus on the negatives. Don’t belittle (or over amplify) their ailments. Please do specifically mention what’s going on that you want to wish them well on in their lives. It does no good to ignore it. And it shows your concern in a way that they feel “heard.” The recipient gets that YOU “get” what’s going on with them. That’s invaluable.
Recognize reality & show appreciation
Perhaps getting well is a far-fetched concept for the person you’re sending the card to. But “having a great day” or having a “day filled with happiness” might hit the spot. Admit it outright. But move on. Remember, being sick doesn’t have to take joy away. Focusing on the good parts of life might be just what the doctor ordered. Those who are ill, especially invisibly or long-term, often feel dismissed, forgotten, or ignored. All they want to feel is loved and understood. Show them how much they mean to you no matter the circumstances! Spend some time writing about a special memory, something you’re looking forward to experiencing with them, or a special part of them that’ll make the recipient feel good. Focusing on the good, happy parts of life can do wonders.
Be yourself
That’s what the reader wants to hear. Like I said, don’t overindulge talking about your wonderful (or not so wonderful life), but do include some personal, entertaining stories. What would you talk about if you were sitting right there with the person? Have a little one-sided conversation. Lift their spirits by acting normal with them! These messages are the type that they’ll appreciate and treasure.
Written by Carrie Beth Burns © 2008 butyoudontlooksick.com