Body literacy is observing, learning, and understanding your body and menstrual cycle. It’s recognizing changes in your body as they relate to your fertility. It’s knowing the signs and symptoms associated with your period. It’s being empowered in your body and having more confidence. It’s being able to understand your unique sexual and reproductive wellness. If you know more, you will be able to identify any changes and share them with your healthcare provider to get the care you need, which is a vital part of any wellness journey.

Here are 3 ways to become more body literate:

1. Observe your body

Do you notice when there are sudden changes happening in your body? When you observe something it’s important to give your full attention and energy to it. For example, do you notice when you are hungry? How about when you feel fatigued or energized? Your body is constantly speaking to you. Observe your body and note any changes. You can use a period tracker to jot down any changes. Here’s more on reasons why you should track your cycle.

2. Learn how your body operates

When you observe your body and identify its patterns, you are learning how your body operates. Doing this will help you make any necessary changes to keep it well and healthy. This might look like eating when you are hungry, seeking help from your provider when you are in severe pain, or taking a mental health break as needed. It’s up to you to connect the dots.

3. Understand your body fully

Understanding your body takes time. It is always evolving and sometimes, you may not know what to expect. If you take time to observe your body and learn it, you will find that it’s easier to understand. You will be more confident in making the best decisions that are best for your body alone. For example, if you know eating certain foods makes you feel bloated, you can avoid discomfort by restricting them in your diet or if you get horrible migraines before your period, you can partake in any remedies that may be helpful or follow the advice from your healthcare provider as needed.

You know your body best. Take time to listen.