As a very dedicated night owl, when I found out about The Nocturnal Journal I immediately thought it would be perfect for my life. This book isn’t designed to help you fall asleep more quickly, but instead is meant to help you spend the extra time you are awake doing something more productive than tossing and turning in the darkness. I hunkered down a few night in a row, and admittedly also used it during daylight hours on my lunch break, and really enjoyed this delightful activity book perfect for curling up with under the covers with a flashlight like you did as a little kid.
Lee Crutchley blends fun and lighthearted activities that hearken back to your childhood with reflective and thought provoking elements that help bring ease to your mind and heart. I would recommend following this book through page by page, though admittedly you could skip around a bit if you liked. The Nocturnal Journal is broken into roughly 5 parts and while each section has a theme some activities carry over between sections. Crutchley discusses the darkness, your thoughts on fear, the light that you can find, and many more topics that are meant to help you find peace within yourself and understand more about who you are as a person. I often do not spend time thinking about myself critically, I frequently push these ideas out of my mind and focus on deadlines I have coming up, my schedule, work projects, and all of those things that seem vitally important when I lay down for the night. Crutchley’s activities provided me with a reason to actively take time to examine some of my more private thoughts.
The more lighthearted elements within The Nocturnal Journal that I enjoyed included the coloring page, which I did with a variety of pens I had near my bed, the create your own constellations connect the dots style page, and the draw what’s under your bed activity. I also really enjoyed the make up your own words and define your favorites pages. I may now be using the word “bloobop” in every day conversation, which I decided means making a mistake while speaking, especially when you know you’re being recorded. You can borrow that one for your everyday life if you’d like, it can be are own little nocturnal journaling secret.
The reflective moment that stood out the most to me was writing a letter to someone you’ve lost. I spent almost an hour reflecting on that page and let myself just write whatever came to mind to my grandmother, who passed away over a decade ago. I found myself tearing up by the end of it, but the peace that this section brought me was so comforting that I actually slept so peacefully afterward. There are also two meditative sections that involve sitting and focusing on the book for a couple of minutes, that were so relaxing. One involved staring into the abyss and seeing what stares back and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed having this moment to just stare and think about things. The other page involved putting your thumb on top of the picture of a seed and pushing all of your bad thoughts into it. After doing this I felt much lighter and while I did do this specific page over my lunch break during daylight hours I honestly could recommend it as an exercise that can help you feel better whenever you need a pick me up. The Nocturnal Journal is perfect for night owls and early birds who want to find a way to help them bring a little bit of peace of mind to their daily lives.
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