Postcrossing stress

Original message removed due to privacy. However, I hope this could be an encouraging topic for new and old users to be able to deal with problems and self-doubt better.


Most forums show time expectations and I think normally 2 weeks. This is reasonable and you shouldn’t feel pressure to respond immediately as its simply not always possible .
Don’t take on too much and enjoy !


I can entirely understand you, but you shouldn’t be worried. I think most of us are always happy and excited when going to the mailbox and checking if any postcards arrived. Everyone of us spends a little bit of his/her lifetime for writing someone a few lines and I’m of the opinion that most of us really appreciate that. Besides: Sometimes the postal services need a lot of time or any other coincidences may happen, so please please don’t worry. Every card is a little piece of someone else with its own story behind. And it’s the stories that matter :wink: Lots of love and stay healthy :slight_smile:


I can also totally relate - even after 9 years of Postcrossing, I do get stressed about things!
My number one stress factor is people asking if their cards has arrived after just a few days have elapsed - there are a few people to whom I have repeatedly explained that in my area, mail delivery has become somewhat volatile. I’m still stressing about them maybe not believing me, but there is nothing I can really do about it.

Enjoy the process :heart:

I usually choose forum activities where you have 2-4 weeks to send your cards (i.e. monthly RRs) and only pull official addresses one by one when I know I can write them right away (with a few exception when I want to get or make a specific card for their profile).


Hello @PostiePanda,

I can relate very well to what you are writing. Since you are quite new to Postcrossing, maybe you are tempted to sign up for too many activities at once or to draw all official cards as soon as you can draw a new address (at least I was!). I later found that for me, just one official card per week is perfect. Sometimes I send none, which is also okay.

Regarding reply times: As @tesc said, there are usually time frames in the first post on the forum. If I know I’m busy during that time, I don’t sign up for them to avoid stress. If you don’t know when the addresses are sent out and they come during a super busy period, it’s usually okay to let the host of the activity and the other participants know that you can’t make the deadline and need a few extra days. Of course, this shouldn’t happen all the time, but if it does happen once in a while, that’s perfectly acceptable. Many things - including our mental health - are more important than postcards.

I have quite a few postcard and pen pals. I try to answer cards within two weeks after receiving them and letters within four to six weeks and all of my pen friends are okay with that. Some of them reply within two weeks, others take several months to reply and all of that is fine with me, too. There may be a few persons who demand faster replies, but you can choose whether you want to correspond with such a person or not, if that causes you too much stress. Typically, replies come faster when you’ve just started writing someone, and things slow down a bit after a while.

Regarding other people’s expectations: I wouldn’t worry too much with official cards. All that you owe the other person is a postcard. Of course, like most people, I try to fulfil wishes that are stated on profiles, but if the profile is too demanding and I don’t have a card that fits the wishlist, that’s their problem, not mine.

Otherwise, you can try to ask a few people if they liked what you sent to get a feeling for what others expect (or judge by the reactions you get on the forum). Or you can compare what they sent to you with what you send - I have a pen pal who likes pretty stationery and always uses some for her own letters, so I also use pretty stationery when I write her. With others, plain writing paper is perfectly fine. It really depends on the person. Since you seem to belong to the type of people who tend to worry about such things, I’d guess that what you send is perfectly fine, because you care about others. In my experience, it’s usually only people who are very thoughtless / don’t care about others who send anything really inappropriate, such as a spider card to someone who is scared of spiders. :slight_smile:


Dear @PostiePanda, I could relate to your note! Especially, when I was new at Postcrossing.
There are lots of supportive helpful comments here.
As well, there have been a couple of occasions when I was not able to meet either a deadline (e.g., 14-day requirement to mail a card) or a commitment to a penpal (e.g., sending a letter or card on the 1st of the month). In those instances, I wrote a quick note explaining that I hadn’t forgotten my commitment and why I was a little late with my commitment. Every time the Postcrosser was understanding.
After all, life is not a production line with time clocks. It is messy and complicated.


Yes ! I can totally relate to what have been said before in this topic. For me Postcrossing is beneficial in so many ways, it increases my creativity, my curiousity and allows me to use one of my favourite things (crafts, papers, illustrations) for such a fine purpose, like social interactions and sharing cultures.

But as I am perfectionist, it also brings a lot of questions and stress. I want to send cards the more quickly I can, but I want them to be beautifully decorated and fully written, which can take a lot of time. I also worry when my card takes too long to arrive. I worry about not choosing the right card but also about buying too many cards. And so many more…

You may disappoint some users, but in the end it will be nothing comparing to the number of people you will bring some joy to. So the only advice I have is : you must do what you like to do, at your own rythm, but if you keep caring then people will always enjoy back.

And after all, that’s just a hobby. And a hobby doesn’t have to be stressful right ? :wink:


As someone who’s been on Postcrossing for many years, I can tell you that a lot of the stress usually comes from people’s profiles and the demands that they make. I’ve learned that most people appreciate what is sent to them even if it has nothing to do with their requests. I’ve also learned to appreciate what people send to me. This project is more about connecting with people than anything else, and I’ve grown to appreciate the fact that someone is willing to send me (a stranger) a postcard. You’re investing you own time and money, and if people don’t appreciate it, it’s best to just shrug your shoulders and move on to the next recipient.


It’s quite normal to be a bit stressed when you first start Postcrossing. But as others have said, it’s a hobby, it’s supposed to be fun, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself okay?

There are many, many ways to participate in Postcrossing & you have to decide what works for you & brings you pleasure (& less stress).

There are many things you have no control over, including how others react to your cards. So do your best & don’t worry about it okay? Most people will be fine with what you send them.

Don’t worry about the picky people, you just have to send them a card, not fulfill all their demands.

In terms of replying/sending in the Forum - I’d say for replying to messages, a few days is the standard - if you can’t do that for work or other reasons, then say so up front in your post, so people won’t think you’re ignoring them.

I’d say a sending a card within a week is fine, again, if that’s not possible, say so up front, so everyone’s expectations are clear.

For penpals, yes, I’d say within 2 weeks, but life is very busy these days, mail can be slow or disrupted, so again managing expectations is key.

And you have to be able to manage what you take on, if you do too much, then it’s no fun & others will be disappointed.

So decide what works for you & what brings you the most pleasure & the least stress?


Absolutely! A great reminder for all of us. :purple_heart:


Removed due to privacy


Thanks for sharing more about your life Postie Panda.

Know you’re in good company in terms of your health. There are lots of folks with health issues who participate as they can in Postcrossing.

The key is participating as you can, as you choose to do so & doing what works for you okay?

Give yourself some time to get into the rhythm of Postcrossing & feeling comfortable in how it’s going for you. And if something isn’t working, then feel free to change it. And the Forum is generally a pretty supportive place, so don’t be shy in asking questions or for advice.

But you have to decide what works for you okay? Be gentle with yourself & your new hobby & I’m sure it will mostly be fine.

Postcrossing has been a great hobby for me during this pandemic when I’ve had to have been more socially isolated, so enjoy exploring this community & meeting new people & learning tons about postcards & mail & other countries. Take good care.


Thank you for sharing, and welcome to the most amazing community of all time :grin:
I have no doubt you’ll find your place here. And there are so many things you can do on the forum, so many possibilities, so many kind persons !

I used to think the same way, then I realised it wasn’t the “most” beautifully decorated postcards that I liked the most, but the ones with something, a little detail, that shows how the sender cares about me and the postcard to write and send. It can be a word, a stamp, a sticker, a drawing, or just the use of a special colour. And surprisingly, it happens most of the time !

Take care, and enjoy :sun_with_face:


Lynn, so wise! :hugs:

I wasn’t stressed at the beginning because I took things slowly. I am stressed now, 13 years later in my journey of postcrossing. My official cards has frozen slots with cards from Russia and Belarus so I started tags for the first time. I got so addicted I sent around 50 tags in one month and I was really stressed. Making sure I didn’t forget to write them all and thanking everyone who sent me cards. I also get stressed with swap requests that I can’t fulfill. Postcrossing is really fun but it takes a lot of time, effort and planning. So take it easy and enjoy!


Welcome! I’m pretty new as well, so I’m still learning. :smile: I went a little crazy with tags in the beginning, and like was mentioned by others, that got a tad stressful. I’m gradually learning to slow down and find the rhythm that works for me, but it’s a process! I tend to have to remind myself that not everything has to be immediate too :sweat_smile: You’re in good company! I’ve noticed there’s a lot of us folks with anxiety, and people are very understanding :grin:


I stopped doing tags because I overdid it, I think. It was actually quite nice and I’ve met some nice people but suddenly I had to write cards or thank you messages all the time. I got a notebook for all the addresses and it felt like I was in a race. I only send official cards now and it feels like paradise in comparison, no pressure.


@PostiePanda You definitely belong here. :slight_smile: The good thing about snail mail friends is that the conversations often go deeper than many in-person friends with whom you might just have fun, go party or whatever (of course, with some in-person friends you can talk about anything, too, but it can be difficult to find those). It’s normal among my pen friends to talk about physical or mental health issues for a paragraph or two before going on to lighter/happier topics. In a conversation, such serious topics tend to spoil the mood, so they are often avoided or the entire conversation may take on a serious note, which may make it exhausting.

If you are only unable to write for a few days, then hardly anyone will ever notice, I dare say. If it might also be weeks at times, let your snail mail friends now in advance and then they won’t have to worry about you losing interest or about items lost in the mail. Last year, I was overwhelmed with work and had to suddenly stop writing for two months. I printed a short message with boxes to tick to thank the sender for their card / letter and briefly told them about my situation. Whenever I received something, I stuck the message on a card and sent it. For my postcard pals, I always print their addresses on labels, so that took very little time and kept people informed. Maybe you can develop some kind of emergency strategy like that for your needs so that you can rest a little easier. :slight_smile:

Regarding the handmade cards, maybe you can make a card and take a picture to show it to someone on the forum to get an opinion? Often, we are way too critical with ourselves and you might just find that people do like your cards just the way they are. :slightly_smiling_face: Also, you may get nice handmade cards as official cards, because there are so many profiles that don’t want handmade cards.

@Waxwingshadow: Similar here … I love postcard pals the most, because they don’t require any thank you messages via the internet - we just thank each other on the next postcard.


I can definitely understand this worry! I’m not in the same situation as you are, but I’m a homebody and don’t often do “exciting things” to tell people about.

But! Being stuck in bed all day doesn’t prevent you being an interesting person. You still have thoughts and dreams and imagination, media you’ve been enjoying, small things that brought you joy on a given day. Those are worthwhile and lovely to read about! Someone writing authentically about themself and their inner world is much more interesting than people give it credit for!

So, welcome to Postcrossing :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


@halflingstory Very well put! I personally enjoy such letters much more than some that I have received in the past in which people only wrote a kind of superficial diary (“Yesterday, I went to the zoo. Tomorrow we want to try the new restaurant in town.”) which they probably sent to all of their pen pals. I can’t even write such letters, because my life is too “boring” for that, haha.

@PostiePanda As soon as you begin to share thoughts and to ask questions about whatever you find interesting, it’s easy to get into a (written) conversation that can go anywhere. With some of my pen friends I’m even past questions for the most part - we just write and react to whatever the other person has written.