How to Write a Genuine Sympathy Note or Letter

Writing a genuine heartfelt sympathy note or letter can prove to be very challenging. However, its value is almost priceless as your words will work to comfort the recipient, letting them know they are not alone in their time of need. 

Although a printed sympathy card will be gratefully received, adding that personal touch counts that little but more. To achieve this, it only takes a hand written message to show that you have put in the extra time and effort into writing those supportive words. 

So, when do you write a sympathy message? Usually, these notes are written to friends or loved ones who have experienced a terrible loss. For example, to a friend who has lost a family member or a loved one, or perhaps has had a miscarriage. 

Sometimes you may mean well with your words, but they may be misunderstood or even deemed offensive. For this reason, it is a good idea to establish what not to say. There are three major things to avoid in your note. 

Firstly, avoid using the words dead and died. You can replace them with ‘your loss’ or ‘the passing of...’. By doing so, your message has a more sensitive touch to it that will be appreciated. 

Secondly, stay away from clich├ęs and statements that may, unintentionally, belittle the bereaved’s loss. They may also be too impersonal and may be seen as unjustifiable and disputable. Examples include: 

Finally, avoid comparing their loss to something you may have experienced before. This is particularly important considering that we all grieve differently. Therefore phrases such as ‘I know how you feel’ are not very effective and may not come across as completely genuine. 

Before you start writing your message, it is important to remember that the aim of your words is to recognize the recipient’s loss and to offer your support. With this in mind, start your note by acknowledging their loss. For example: I was deeply saddened to hear about ...’s passing 

Once you have done this, move onto expressing your sympathy. I want to express my heartfelt sympathy to you and your family 

It is an appreciated touch to talk about their qualities. For example: ... was a truly generous person who touched all our lives. He/she will be dearly missed..

Remember, you will not be able to make the recipient feel better about their loss, but your words will offer them support and comfort during their bereavement.

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Gift Baskets That Ship The Same Day

Need to send a last minute gift across the country? Not to worry. Even if it's Christmas, Mother's Day, or the same day as the recipient's birthday, most of our gift baskets ship with same day or next day delivery.

When you want to express your best wishes for any special occasion, the classic combination of wine and gourmet snacks is always an appreciated gift. With both sweet and savory options to pair with the wine, this enjoyable gift is the perfect choice for making a lasting impression.

20 Stress-Reducing Remedies

Stress, Emotional Trauma, Instability and
Depression - Ways to De-Stress
Constant stress can wreak havoc on our bodies, our minds and our souls. Some medical problems are triggered by continual stress, and emotional trauma, instability and mild forms of depression are also likely to result.

By taking a few moments to de-stress when you feel the levels and intensity rising, you can save yourself from undue anxiety and potential health problems. Below are 20 stress-reducing options to help you eliminate the physical and mental feelings caused by stress.

Take a Hot Bubble Bath-The soothing suds and warm water can wash your cares away while relaxing your tired, aching muscles. If you want to enhance the healing effects, turn on some soft music, dive into a good book, or just daydream the night away.

Throw on your Comfiest Pajamas and Grab a Good Book! Snuggling up under the covers in your cozy bed with soft, comfortable clothing can be enough to relax you almost immediately. Find your favorite magazine, pull out a book you have been meaning to read or just put on one of those cooling eye-masks to alleviate them from the cares of the day.

Pamper yourself with a Pedicure and a Facial-The softness and smoothness returned to your weary feet may be enough to relax you and help you reduce your stress level, but don't stop there! Use a gentle cleanser and apply a mud-mask and sit back for 10-15 minutes while it works its wonders. If you're feeling especially energetic, cut two cucumber slices to place over your eyes. Think happy thoughts and drift away from the things that trouble you.

Take a 20-minute "Power-Nap" if you've got more things on your To-Do List-Right when you get home from work, shed your business attire and hop into your bed-set your alarm for 20 minutes if you have other things on the evening's agenda, or allow yourself to awake naturally if you have a free schedule. Your energy should return to you in no time!

Make sure you have some Delectable Desserts in the house and Indulge! Cakes, cookies, pastries, brownies... they are all comfort foods to me. Treat yourself to something extravagant and delicious.

Light an Aromatherapy Candle and Play some Soft Music-Close your eyes and imagine whatever peaceful moments come to mind. Relax and think about your hopes and dreams for the not-so-distant future. (Be careful not to leave candles burning unattended).

Convince your Sweetheart to give you a Massage! A simple back massage or foot massage has been known to greatly reduce stress and send the recipient into a super-relaxed state. Just don't forget to return the favor when your sweetie is having a bad day!

Kick Back in Comfortable Clothes and Look through your Photo Albums-Memories of happy times can easily bring a smile to your face and take you back to days when the tides weren't so turbulent... Plan a vacation or a get-together with friends for another photo-taking opportunity to add to your scrapbooks, and the simple act of having something to look forward to should significantly help you cope with your stress.

Start Keeping a Diary or a Journal, just for yourself! Record your innermost thoughts and feelings, and vent out your angst of the day. It can be very effective to get your troubles off your chest and onto a sheet of paper, where they'll stay for the rest of the night.

Immediate Results for Urgent Needs: Deep Breathing-Take deep breaths when you feel your stress levels begin to escalate. Start by counting to three inhaling and then to three while exhaling. Gradually increase it to five, six or seven as you try to calm yourself from the aggravating element.

Stretching-Especially if you find yourself irritated at work, raise your arms above your head, arch your back and give it a good stretch. Get up from your desk and walk around-five minute breaks are definitely allowed when your sanity is at stake!

Go Somewhere to Be Alone and Have a Good Cry or Confront the Source-I have been on the brink of tears while on the job, and sometimes the best solution to an overly stressful day is to lock yourself in a room (failing that, your car) and let loose. The relief and renewal experienced by letting out a couple of tears rejuvenates the body and the mind. Get mad, get upset, but get over it...cry in privacy or express yourself to the afflicting individual-chances are you will feel much better once you confront the agitating factor.

Do Something for YOU - Play an instrument, knit or crochet, work on a scrapbook or partake in another of your hobbies. Lose yourself in the moment and do not think about your stress until you must. Go to bed early with a light heart and dream of happy and carefree moments ahead.

Exercise-Go for a jog, do some abdominal workouts, aerobics or lift some weights. Exercising renews the body and gives the mind an easy escape from daily troubles.

Enjoy a cup of Herbal Tea and a few Cookies or a Good Book-Soothe yourself with a warm beverage and some sweets or get lost in some good reads. Reading can be a great escape from stress because it requires your mind to focus on something other than your own problems.

Order-Out! Indulge in some Comfort Foods or a cup of Hot Cocoa-Avoid making dinner or dessert for the night and call for a pizza, pick up some Chinese food or find a place that makes great seafood to go. Whatever your palate desires, treat yourself (and your family) to a night of take-out.

Try something like Yoga or Meditation to Relieve the Day's Stressors-Beneficial results occur by relaxing the body through yoga exercises. Mental, physical and spiritual responses to yoga and meditations can very powerfully reduce stress's effects on your mood and your body in general.

Break out of the Routine! Do something unusual and avoid the stressors. Your laundry can wait another day or two, run the dishwasher tomorrow and just relax! Get together with a few friends and go on an adventure-leave the town you know and the buildings you inhabit day after day and take a hike, hit up the beach or go sailing on a beautiful body of water.

Spend Time with Loved Ones and Pets! If they are the ones making you stressed out, you may think about some alone-time, but more times than not, there's nothing quite like that unconditional love freely given by our furry friends who look to us for the same affection.

No matter what stressors affect you from day to day, it is important to try to combat them before they get out of hand. Job related stress could follow you home and may then have an effect not only on you and your body but on your family, too. 
Do what you can to reduce stress and ask those who are close to you for advice if you can't find a reasonable alternative to the taxing feelings forced upon you by stress. Remember: worrying does not get you anywhere-all it does is take up time. Get out there and do something about it!
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