What to Say when Someone Is Sick
Get Well Soon
Saying “Get Well Soon” may be the most popular reason people come to Spoonful of Comfort. Our Get Well soup gift baskets are a big part of our story. After all, what makes friends feel better than a bowl of soup served up with warm wishes?
It’s this last part that brings a lot of questions to our team. What do you say when someone is sick? What are some examples of Get Well Soon messages? What do you say when someone has a serious illness? What do you say to a friend who has cancer? How do you stay professional saying “Get Well” to a co-worker?
People are worried about saying the wrong thing, but there are different ways to give someone strength during a difficult time. Here are some answers, advice, and examples compiled by the Get Well gift specialists at Spoonful of Comfort.
Writing a Get Well Soon card
When someone is seriously ill–or even just on a minor sick leave–encouraging words can brighten an otherwise crummy day. But what do you say besides, “Get Well Soon?” Your warm wishes might be short or long, but the best get well cards generally include comforting words for a sick person using messages with three parts:
1. Say Get Well in a way that’s personal and sincere.
Your words of encouragement feel more thoughtful when you write a Get Well card that speaks just to the recipient. What can you say to someone who is sick that makes them feel loved or valued? What can you say that reflects your relationship?
Maybe it’s an inside joke. Maybe you have a shared mantra or story that motivates you both. Write something that feels and sounds like it’s coming from you.
Examples of personal Get Well wishes:
- A note to remind you that I love you—and I hate that you’re sick.
- I hate it when my favorite people get hurt. Please bounce back soon.
- I miss having you around. You owe me some make-up fun once you’re better.
- Sending you lots of feel-better hugs.
- Get better and get back to your amazing self soon!
- I can’t tell you how to get better. But I’m always around to confirm you look amazing. Call if you need some extra morale!
- How about some chicken soup, jello, and daytime TV? I’m ready when you are.
- Wishing you some well-deserved good days to make up for all the crummy ones lately.
- Call me when you’re up to it. It would be great to hear your voice.
If you’d like to borrow someone else’s words, consider using a get well quote about taking a positive outlook.
2. Show your support when you send Get Well wishes.
When you’re sick or injured, you don’t feel much like yourself—and you often don’t feel like doing much of anything. A Get Well card can remind someone that you’re there for them. Talk about your friendship. Offer to help do things they can’t right now. If you can’t do things physically, extend moral support. And then follow through.
Examples of offering support in a Get Well card
- Thinking about you every day. Have [Steve] let me know if you’d like a visitor sometime.
- I don’t know why bad things have to happen to good people like you. But I want you to know how much I’m thinking about you. I’ll check in with you often if that’s okay.
- I’d love to help around the house until you’re up and around again. I’ll text to see about a good time to come over.
- Don’t worry about garbage day or taking care of your lawn. We’ve got things covered.
- I’ll drop off a freezer meal every Sunday; use it as you need it.
- You know I can’t cook, but I can order takeout with the best of them. How about Chinese food next weekend?
- I’m sorry I’m not there with you in person, but I’m sending prayers every day.
- It’s got to be hard spending time in the hospital. I’m around for texts or conversations whenever you’re feeling lonely. Please call.
- We’re having fun getting [Ashley] to and from school. Take carpooling off your list while you’re healing.
- I’m here for you. For whatever. For as long as you need.
- We’ll pick up and clean up. You rest up.
Find some great quotes about friendship and its importance while people are healing.
3. Thoughtful ways to close a Get Well card.
Signing off a Get Well card should be simple, but sometimes “Yours truly” or “Sincerely” don’t sound quite right. Here are suggestions for thoughtful ways to conclude your get well card. Consider adding your own comforting words for a sick person.
Examples of how to close a Get Well Soon card
- Be well,
- Best wishes as you recover,
- God bless you,
- Good health to you,
- Happy healing,
- Lots of love,
- Love always,
- Love and prayers,
- Sending hugs and love!
- Take care,
- Take extra good care,
- Thinking of you,
- Wishing you healing,
- Wishing you health,
- Wishing you rest,
- With love,
What to write in a Get Well card for different circumstances
Now that we’ve shared the basics of what to write in your Get Well message (something personal and sincere, a show of support, and a thoughtful closing line), let’s talk about different reasons for Get Well cards. Because not every message fits all.
For example, there’s a big difference in the emotional needs of someone out with the flu compared to a patient just diagnosed with cancer. You’ll send a different kind of Get Well card to a child than you would to a colleague or client. Here are some considerations for what to say when someone is sick.
Get Well cards for someone with cancer or a terminal illness
When someone you know has cancer or is diagnosed with another serious illness or injury, you can never go wrong offering comfort and words of encouragement. When asked what they need to hear most, many cancer patients want the people they know to “be normal.”
Don’t try to be more emotional, or funny, or knowledgeable than your interactions before the diagnosis. And remember that everyone’s experience is different. People facing a serious illness are likely to experience denial, anger, sadness, acceptance, and other emotions at different times, maybe even all at once. Respect their feelings. Empathize in the moment. Remember that the illness is not the only thing going on in their life.
Examples of what to say to a sick person about cancer, chemo, or serious illness:
- Thinking about you today and hoping it’s a good one for you.
- It’s always so great when we get together and talk about everything and nothing. I would love for us to do that again soon.
- I’m praying for a miracle cure. Hey, doesn’t hurt to ask!
- Just wanted to remind you how important you are to me.
- This must be a tough time for you.
- I can’t imagine how you feel.
- I’m sorry you’re going through something like this.
- I don’t know what to say.
- I’m here for you if you want to talk.
- What are you thinking of doing this week, and how can I help?
- I’d like to bring you a moment of joy. What would you like to do right now?
- Mention their interests, hobbies, and passions.
If you’re writing a Get Well card to someone with cancer, we suggest also reading our article, What to Say to Someone with Cancer. You’ll find insightful ideas about addresses serious illnesses—many suggested by people who themselves are living with cancer.
Get Well message after surgery
Having surgery may be related to an ongoing illness (see cues in other sections), or it might be a one-time operation. Either way, a get well soon message after surgery will be appreciated. Think about the reason for the person’s surgery in the tone you use. How will their life be different during or after recovery? Consider including your good vibes for the doctors and medical care staff as well.
Some examples of what to write in a Get Well surgery card message:
- It’s good to know you’re receiving wonderful medical care.
- Not everyone gets a re-do on their health. Good luck during recovery!
- Wishing you the best as you heal and improve.
- Wishing you and your doctors all the best during your surgery.
- Looking forward to spending time with the new-and-improved you.
You may spend a good part of your week with people at the office. When someone is not well, don’t hesitate to share your good wishes. Just remember to share some common-sense best practices to keep your Get Well message professional. You may want to share a Get Well message on behalf of the whole team.
Examples of what to say to a co-worker who is sick:
- Hoping you find strength with each new day. You are in our thoughts.
- Work isn’t the same without you there. Once you feel better, we’ll feel better too.
- Looking forward to seeing you back at our 4th-floor home-away-from-home.
- I’m sure you’ll be wow-ing our clients again when you recover.
- Don’t worry about the monthly reports. We’ve got them covered.
- I am incredibly sorry to hear that you are unwell. While you recover, I hope you are surrounded by the warmth of those you love. Get well soon.
- Hope you feel a little better every day.
- Best wishes for a little progress and a little encouragement every day during your recuperation.
Learn more about saying "get well" to a colleague, business partner, or client.
Writing Get Well cards to kids
Being sick is never fun. Even less so for kids. They may not fully understand their illness, but they can know you care for them. Help them feel better by sharing loving, light-hearted wishes. Use language that’s right for their age and that they’ll understand.
Some examples of what to say in Get Well cards to kids:
- Wow, everybody likes you—even the germs! Tell them to go home. I hope you feel better soon!
- Is this your secret plan to stay home from school? Glad you’re on the mend.
- Use your superpowers and get well soon!
- You’re being so brave, [Amelia]. Keep feeling better.
- Things are pretty tough right now, but I bet you’re tougher.
- Your toys can’t wait for you to come back! Feel better soon.
- Wishing on every star that you get better quick.
- Can’t wait to see you smiling again!
- Sorry things are so un-fun right now. Hoping that changes soon.
- Being sick stinks like an old sock. Get well soon!
- Be like a basketball: bounce back fast!
- Bye-bye tonsils. Hello to happy, healthy days ahead!
Sending religious Get Well wishes
Sharing expressions of faith can help strengthen someone’s spirit along with their body. Even when your religious practices or beliefs differ, most people will appreciate the sincerity of your beliefs. Faith can bring comforting words for a sick person.
Some examples of religious thoughts to include with Get Well wishes:
- Praying with you.
- You’re in all our warmest thoughts and prayers.
- I ask God each night for your healing. I wish you a quick recovery!
- Thoughtful prayers are being sent your way with the hopes that you will feel better soon.
- Thinking of you during this time of illness, and praying you will find strength in the Lord and his never-ending supply of love.
- God cares and hears our prayers. Mine are for you today.
- Know God promises to give strength when you need it.
- We don’t always get to know the reasons God has us face challenges. He has a bigger plan, and you are in His hands.
- Prayer is the best medicine I can offer. A healthy dose of prayer is coming your way.
- Hope each day finds you stronger and full of joy. God Bless You.
- Lifting you up in my prayers during your treatments.
- God bless you through your recovery.
- Saying extra prayers for your recovery.
- Praying you’ll feel God’s healing hand at work in you.
Find some religious Get Well quotes and scriptures to include in your card.
Include a Get Well gift from Spoonful of Comfort
What you write in a Get Well card is the heart of your wish to a loved one. We can help express it with additional warmth and care. The original soup care package at Spoonful of Comfort came from a desire to help people feel better. Packaged in a wow-sized box and packed with cheerfulness, a Get Well care package includes a healthy-size container of feel-better soup, six soft and chewy rolls, six decadent cookies, and a shiny ladle to serve up the smiles.