In good condition

Keep in touch with a new medium


Instead of a phone, an envelope can be your device. Instead of a text, try a piece of paper.

Safer-at-Home orders across the nation have encouraged communities to socially isolate themselves.

Despite the physical distance, we can thank technology for all the conversations that still continue. The happy hour Zoom calls, sharing a cup of coffee with friends over the phone, or even texting your grandma every Friday to start the weekend right. 

However, for me, sometimes my phone is not enough. I am sure there are others out there who may feel the same way. 

This is what made me long for something new; something physical and emotional, all wrapped into one. 

This is how I found my newest mindful habit: writing letters and sending snail mail.

It first began with one person, but not long after my time was spent scribbling “Dear so and so” and “I hope this card brings you joy” to all who I cherish the most.

Writing is not a foreign subject to me, it has been a part of my everyday routine for years and always will be. Yet, with a letter, the medium expands in a new direction and outreach towards others. 

This is one of the best things about writing: the ability to share thoughts and stories. In this case, with your own personal touch.

Others in the Eau Claire area have also attempted to utilize this method of communication in light of the pandemic progression. 

At Heritage Oakwood Hills Assisted Living in Eau Claire, residents and staff brought writing to life through paper hearts that residents were encouraged to hang across the building’s windows, according to WEAU 13 News.

Messages of positivity and light truly resonate when it is sent by someone whom you least expected. Community members can walk by these windows and be reminded of all the good that can still be found. 

Now, the assisted living home has begun its own pen pal program. They accept letters, drawings and other notes from the community. These letters are distributed to each individual resident so they can continue the correspondence, according to WEAU.

Conversations by mail can provide another safety measure for those who have loved ones far away, or an overall concern to maintain a social distance.

In a recent Q-and-A by the World Health Organization, clarifications on the myths around COVID-19 transmission were discussed — specifically, transmission by mail.

“The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low,” WHO said. “The risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.”

In addition, the USPS has released a statement on the safety precautions taken nationwide to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through post office employees.

The versatility of writing letters and sending mail extends far and wide as the creative nature of this mindful habit presents no limits. As I continue to write letters to others, it has restored my excitement to explore new healthy habits I would not have otherwise.

Plus, the look on someone’s face when they open fun mail sent to them — priceless.

If letters are not your style, you could send photos and other memories to share. If you enjoy a more artistic approach, sending friends and family your artwork is another great alternative.

My favorite letters to receive are from the people in my life who don’t typically write in general.

In the simplest of ways, this gesture can show how personal and important your relationship can be. There is something precious to be found when someone who does not write, puts forth the additional effort to connect. I am thankful for them.

Correspondence by mail has been a primary resource for centuries in the U.S. and in this situation, the practice can be revived to share some much-needed positivity.

Distance makes the heart grow fonder and waiting eagerly for mail from loved ones can do the trick.

I encourage you all to contact the ones you love most and ask for their address. Do not be afraid to reach out and try something new. You could even write to me, I am more than happy to make a new friend at the end of all of this. 

Nelson can be reached at [email protected].