Be A Joy Germ And Foster Your Treasured Relationships

It’s too easy to spread (and pick up) negativity these days, would you agree?

What if you decided to be intentional about spreading encouragement instead?

One of the nicer aspects of social media is the plethora of positive oriented accounts that publish bright topics, good news & encouraging quotes.  It’s an easy thing to follow a few and share them now and then to spread the flow of positivity.  When you take a moment to add your own thoughts about how an idea applies to your own life, it can be more meaningful to those you reach.

As simple as online sharing is, it is… online.

Have you noticed (like I have) that the more time we’ve spent online, the less time we’ve been communicating with our friends and family offline?

Maybe not – and if so, good!

During the covid pandemic, when all of my connections were relegated to online spaces, I was grateful for them.  When it passed, I found it all deeply unsatisfying. So much so I decided to no longer use social media as a ‘personal friend tool’.

When someone is precious in my life, I want their phone number. I want to talk to them now and then to keep the connection going. I know many of my introverted friends would rather not receive a phone call out of the blue. But I can send a text and ask about a good time to call.

I want their address. I’ve always enjoyed sending and receiving written cards. Is that so old fashioned today? Maybe, but I think putting something thoughtful into print is delightful.

That’s why I have a little box of cards and stamps that I keep stocked for when the urge strikes. I call it my Joy Germ Stash – which may be a funny term but it fits!

The concept of being a ‘Joy Germ’ came up at a women’s coffee nearly thirty years ago and it stuck with me.  I loved noticing that we can unintentionally spread ‘ick’ or we can intentionally spread joy.

What’s in my Joy Germ Stash?

The easy way to get started is to grab a little box or basket and stock it with:

  • Postcards
  • Note Cards (I have a thing for unique cards made by crafters.)
  • Stickers (Love the stickers that Michelle offers!)
  • Stamps (Post card, Forever & International Forever for my spread out friends!)
  • Little Quote Card Inserts (Like these for example.)
  • Small Value Gift Cards (Think treats on the go, like Starbucks!)

How can you take it to the next level?

A women I knew when I was young had a similar concept, but she kept a dresser drawer stocked with small gifts, wrapping paper and bags – all so that she could be ready at a moment’s notice for a gifting opportunity.  It would be easy for something like this to come off rather impersonal, but she was a master at the art of a thoughtful gift.

Rather than shopping for gifts that might be appealing to everyone – which is surely impossible. I suggest you think about specific people in your life you’d like to be ready to encourage at a moments notice.   For example, for my Me Skills Podcast Co-host Tish, I know a cute new pen would be just the ticket to put a smile on her face.

Quick online shipping options.

I’m a minimalist, so the whole gift stash idea would make me a little nuts. I’d feel the need to ship them all out within a week – which could be a bit of Joy Germ Explosion… LOL!

It’s more my style, if I want to send something in the mail – I use online shopping options.

By the way Send Out Cards is a long trusted company you may enjoy working with if you have frequent gift or card sending needs. I use them to send out cards and gifts for the challenges I run in my business now and then.

Just get started.

There’s no one right way to be a Joy Germ. Whether you share something on social, make a call, send a card or show up on someone’s door step with a pizza… you do you.

However you decide to start being more intentional about staying in touch with your friends and family, every little action goes a long way and you may find you’ve shown up in their lives at the perfect time – so don’t hold back 💕


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  1. Retail workers these days are really getting abused. I have a whole conversation with them even if I hold up the line. Kind words are a germ like no other. I usually end by handing them a sticker or air freshener for their car.

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