Fitness/healthy life style

The Best Gift You Can Give To Your Loved Ones

This post is sponsored by The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, but all the opinions are my own.

As many of you know, I recently got married, bought a new house and am now a wife and stepmom to 4 kids. My 2020 has included so many changes and transformations including going through this pandemic. Every day I am learning to play these new roles and enjoy what life has to offer.

Lately, I have been focusing on ordering gifts for my family members. I enjoy finding gifts, wrapping gifts, giving gifts and opening gifts; all the laughter and joy is just so heartwarming. People who know me know that I am very good at finding great quality products for a very good price. So, they often ask me “What is the best gift I can give to my loved ones this year?”

My answer has always been A HEALTHY AND HAPPY YOU! We have all heard the saying “Happy wife, happy life” right? It does make sense because your peace, joy and contentment will lift up your loved one’s spirit and heal them! It is hard to feel happy while you are sick, right? So being healthy and happy is the most priceless gift that you can ever give to someone else or to yourself!

To reach peace, joy and happiness in our lives, it requires a healthy and balanced mind, body and spirit. Especially in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more important than ever to take care of our mind, body and spirit. Which is why it’s important to get a flu shot as soon as possible because a flu vaccination can keep you and your loved ones from getting sick with flu.

What has helped you stay healthy physically and mentally this year? I have been doing online yoga, working out at home regularly and cooking at home almost daily to eat healthy. After losing my late husband to cancer in 2017 and almost drowning in my own pool, death has taught me how lucky and important it is to be alive and healthy.

During this flu season, the one thing that has kept me healthy was getting a flu shot. Getting a flu shot this fall will protect yourself and your family from the flu, which is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been getting flu shots for the past 12 years. I was a teacher during this time and you know what that means (especially for a teacher who lived in Michigan where there are long flu seasons). I remember there being sick kids pretty much on a daily basis going to different classrooms during those flu seasons. So I would get the flu shot every year to protect myself, my students and my family. 

Guess what? I never got sick during the flu season for 11 straight years! Last year was the first year that I skipped my yearly flu shot and sure enough, I got the flu from my stepdaughter. So this year, getting my flu shot was at the top of my to-do list.

It’s more important than ever for Michiganders like me to protect myself and my family by getting a flu shot this year. At a time when our healthcare system is already stressed, it’s important that we do our part to protect ourselves and all the doctors and nurses by washing our hands more often, wearing a mask and avoiding outbreaks of preventable and potentially deadly diseases like the flu.

Since this late fall, Michigan’s COVID case numbers have been at a record high. A few weeks ago, one of my family members developed a fever and headache so she got tested for COVID. Since my husband had direct contact with her and also had a headache, he went to get tested too. Boy he waited at our local urgent care for almost a whole day and finally got his test. He told me that he didn’t think he had COVID at all before he went to the urgent care, but spending a whole day with that many sick people in that small waiting room, he was worried he really caught COVID.

Luckily, both of them tested negative!

You see? I would have rather stayed in my cozy home to watch a Christmas movie than waited a whole day with a bench full of sick people to be tested for COVID. Since the flu and COVID share so many similar symptoms, it is kind of scary to develop a fever, headache and/or sore throat. So I got a flu shot to make sure that I didn’t have to wonder if I got the flu or COVID. 

Personally, the flu vaccine has been very safe and effective for me and 11 years in a row without getting sick during the flu season is a great record for me! I was used to getting sick every winter when I was younger and no flu shots were available!

Obviously, getting a flu shot this year to protect myself and my family from the flu is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Did you know that last year in the U.S. there were an estimated 39 – 56 million cases of the flu, 18 – 26 million medical visits due to the flu, and approximately half a million flu hospitalizations? (source) During the 2018-2019 flu season, flu vaccinations prevented an estimated 4.4 million influenza illnesses (more than the population of Los Angeles), 58,000 flu hospitalizations (just over the number of students at Michigan State University) and 3,500 flu deaths (equal to saving about 10 lives per day over the course of a year).

You can see from the data above how important it is to get a flu shot in order to add another layer of protection for ourselves and for our families!

I usually get my flu shot when I go grocery shopping and it’s quick and easy. It usually only takes about 15 minutes and it is free with most health insurance plans. The only side effects I have experienced is soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling at the site where the shot was given. These side effects lasted about 2 to 3 days and didn’t bother me at all.

By the way, did you know that it takes up to two weeks after you get the flu shot for your body to build up enough immunity to prevent the flu? So don’t party too hard until the 2 week mark. 😉 Below are more reasons why getting vaccinated each year is important:

4 benefits to getting a flu shot

1. Flu vaccinations have been shown to reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor due to the flu by 40 to 60 percent.

2. Flu vaccinations reduce a child’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission by 74 percent during the 2010-2012 flu seasons. (Source)

3. In recent years, flu vaccines have reduced the risk of flu hospitalizations among adults by about 40 percent. (Source)

4. Flu vaccination among adults reduced the risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) with the flu by 82 percent, from the 2012 to 2015 flu seasons. (Source)

Have you tried getting a flu shot yet?

Being a wife and a mom, I am very aware of how important it is to keep myself healthy and happy so I can give more of my care and love to my husband and kids! Let’s all give the best Christmas gift; our health and happiness to our loved ones!

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Christ follower, wife, mom, and two time best selling author. Don't preach the message, become the message!


  • Shelbee on the Edge

    Thanks so much for sharing this helpful information, Grace! I rarely leave my house during regular times and now during this pandemic, I really never leave my house. And I know my opinion is unpopular, but in my adult life I have only ever had a flu vaccine twice and those are the two years that I have had the flu…not from the vaccine as I had contracted the flu months after being vaccinated. Every other year without the vaccine I have been healthy. So no vaccines for me! But I don’t think I contribute to overwhelming the health care system either as I would never go to the doctor with flu like symptoms. I just ride the storm with tried and true home remedies! But I do appreciate and respect everyone’s personal choices in vaccinations and other decisions with regard to their health. Thanks so much for sharing this post and linking with me. Wishing you a very healthy and happy new year!


    • Grace Liang

      Thank you Shelbee and I appreciate you sharing your point of view. As great as the flu shot is, it’s not 100 percent effective when it comes to preventing the flu and it’s just as important that if we are experiencing flu-like symptoms, to avoid being around other people. May you have an amazing and healthy new year!

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