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Schedule a mammogram, get that colonoscopy on the calendar, book a dental cleaning — you’ve taken your usual “start-of-a-new-year” steps to safeguard your health. (You have, right?)

But there’s a good chance you’re overlooking these lesser-known ways to get healthier in the coming months.

Better health? Phone it in.

You already use your phone to buy coffee, store your plane tickets, learn French and match enough striped candies to reach level 3,000. (Congrats!)

Now it’s time to manage your health right from the palm of your hand.

Sign up for the MyGeisinger patient portal and download the MyChart app. In minutes, you’ll be messaging your care team, scheduling appointments and renewing your prescriptions with just a few screen taps. And if you care for others, like children or aging parents, you can request to manage their care, too. You can even see test results the minute they’re available.

Think of it: No more calling and waiting on hold to make appointments or renew medications. That’s a lot of extra time to master French verbs and crush candy.

Sign up for the MyGeisinger patient portal

Make an advance directive.

There’s no way to sugarcoat it. Making an advance directive isn’t fun. You’ll have to face and discuss topics related to the end of life.

But you’ll be doing a favor for yourself — not to mention your loved ones.

No one wants to make tough healthcare decisions on behalf of someone else during a crisis. Take charge of your care while you’re healthy and make your wishes clear.

Imagine your family’s relief if the time for difficult choices arises and they’re told, “You don’t have to guess. We have instructions.”

And once you make your advance directive, you’ll have peace of mind, too.

Not sure where to start? Learn more about advance directives. Geisinger also has an experienced team to guide you through the process. Call them at 570-214-2497.

Take a free sleep survey.

Who hasn’t wished you could get healthy just by lying flat on your back?

If you’re getting enough high-quality sleep, guess what? That dream is already a reality.

Research shows that proper sleep can improve your cognitive function, productivity, immune system — even your relationships, by helping regulate your moods.

Get a handle on your slumber with Geisinger’s Sleep to Be Well program. Start by taking a free sleep survey and getting instant feedback on how well you’re sleeping and areas that can use improvement.

Ask us anything. We have answers.

You don’t always have to make a clinic appointment to get answers to your healthcare questions. And you shouldn’t be randomly searching the internet.

Turn to us instead. Geisinger has myriad free ways for you to learn about your health and how to maintain it. For example, we offer:

  • Virtual and live events with Geisinger doctors on topics such as prostate cancer care and orthopaedic surgery options
  • A revolving roster of courses to help you manage diabetes, quit smoking, reduce your fall risk and even raise your cooking game, to name just a few available classes
  • A searchable blog, Balance by Geisinger, that’s full of engaging posts on topics like flu prevention, kids’ health, health insurance — anything you need to know about your health
  • A Geisinger YouTube channel with educational videos and patient stories
  • A team of Medicare advisors to help you navigate the tricky ins-and-outs of health insurance, so you get the best protection at the most affordable price

Search and sign up for classes and events and read our health and wellness blogLearn about Medicare online, or reach a Medicare expert by calling 866-530-8745 (TTY: 711) daily, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m..

It’s your precious health. So let us help you maximize and protect it with every tool we have available.

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This story originally appeared in PA Health, our quarterly full-color magazine filled with wellness tips, inspiring stories and more.

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