Weekly News & Updates
Caring for Older Adults Since 1907
LIVE, With Us
Contact Jackie Rosender
248-444-2430 jrosender@jslmi.org
By Jo Strausz Rosen
I saw this as a meme on the internet and it spoke to me, because sometimes I feel unproductive if I’m not “doing something” - whether meaningful or not. There’s this voice in my head that says, “you have to find your purpose and follow it.”

But the Dutch disagree. They have the word “niksen.”

Niksen, is about doing nothing - but in a purposeful way, Niksen roughly translates to “nothing-ing” It’s not mindfulness, so much as a period of mindless relaxation. There have been studies around the world of the longest living people living in the “Blue Zones.” One by author Dan Buettner notes, “They enjoy a common practice of downshifting daily. While their lives may not be stress free, their lifestyles and routines help to reduce excessive stress. Japan’s Okinawans put aside time to think about their ancestors, while the Sardinians make time every day to see friends and neighbors.”

The Dutch have lifestyle habits that lead to satisfaction, such as a shorter-than- average workday, national healthcare, and low university tuition fees, in addition to their promotion of niksen. As stress levels climb, “nothing-ing” is the perfect antidote to stress, burnout and overworking. It is said to decrease anxiety, bring creativity to the surface and boost productivity. While the Dutch once may have dismissed the concept as simple laziness, they’ve since come to appreciate its virtues. Studies have shown that the ability to purposefully do nothing has contributed to Netherlanders being among the happiest people on Earth.

“When we are still or idle with no aim or agenda, the brain’s creativity centers turn on. In the Netherlands, people experiencing work burnout reported feeling less stress and greater happiness when they practiced regular niksen, as opposed to when they didn’t. Scrolling through your phone or lounging on the couch watching tv may seem relaxing but it definitely doesn’t count.” Says Sandi Mann, a lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK and author of the Science of Boredom. Professor Mann defines boredom as “the neural search for stimulation – or when we search for it, and it’s not satisfied.” Her area of expertise is: positive boredom”- contrasting from plain boredom, its negative counterpart. Everyday boredom happens when you feel unhappily trapped in a situation or feel as though you must kill time. – “not like relaxing on a beach,” she says. “In the West we’ve become afraid of boredom and we’re constantly scrolling and swiping it away on our electronic devices. “We’re afraid of what some call ‘being still’ but what I consider downtime. We’re afraid to just be.”

Professor Mann has spent decades researching the topic and has done studies showing that we risk losing out – especially in terms of creativity – by being so anxious to get rid of boredom. Sounds like niksen doesn’t it? Her team conducted an anecdotal study on positive boredom, where participants were invited to be in a soundproof room for 30 minutes with no phones and nothing on the walls to distract them. They could exit when they wanted. “The ones who stayed said that though they felt fidgety and angsty in the beginning, when they let go, they found that they really got into it. “The key to this was that they daydreamed and went on journeys in their heads. Most said it was a positive experience, and they enjoyed a respite from daily life.”

Eckhart Tolle, the spiritual teacher, agrees and says that “inaction is where creativity and solutions to problems are found.” He adds, “When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself.” Eastern philosophies and practices, like meditation, fit the niksen idea that just doing nothing can be restorative. 

So how can we adopt niksen for ourselves? Set up a quiet place, sit, gaze out the window, find time to just be, letting your mind wander where it will. Moments of relaxation can be combined with simple, relaxing activities like knitting in a cozy armchair, further proof that our grandparents had many of the answers to a happy lifestyle. I love the idea of doing this as a form of group meditation with JSL residents. Being together experiencing the restorative powers of nothing-ing prior to an art class or cardio drumming. 

"One of my goals for the coming year is to see how we can integrate niksen into our everyday lives.”
Fleischman residents enjoyed a lovely opera quartet performance on Monday evening. Special thank you to the Ella Baker Music and Lecture Series Fund for sponsoring this memorable night for our residents.
Doesn't everyone need an arsenal of snacks for that mid-morning or afternoon pick-me-up? Whether you're looking for healthy afternoon eats for the kids or need a quick, filling, and good-for-you bite during the workday, it's important to choose nutritious snacks that serve your body well. Instead of reaching for something sugary, overly-processed, or nutritionally empty, what if you eat not just to fuel up, but to help tone down the inflammation in your body? 
1,000 WORDS
An ostrich carriage being stopped by the police for crossing the speed limit. Photograph, Los Angeles, circa 1930.
Live With Purpose
Contact Janet Antin
248-967-4240 jantin@jslmi.org
Time is running out to submit your nominations for our 2022 Eight Over Eighty celebration! Send yours in online or download the form by visiting jslmi.org/8over80

Deadline is November 8th. For questions, contact Amanda Martlock at 248-592-5098 or amartlock@jslmi.org
JSL is asking the community to send in vintage Chanukah photos for a Chanukah concert we are putting together with Reboot. If you have hard copy photos, you can take pictures of them using the Google PhotoScan app on your iPhone or Android and email them to bgiles@jslmi.org.

This video will be shown in several cities. How fun would it be for our residents and families to see themselves? We are hoping to find about 40 photos within the next week.

Here is some information about the concert: Reboot Records and musician Jeremiah Lockwood present a Chanukah record that is sure to become a standard in holiday’s lexicon. A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Record is a beautiful solo guitar tribute to the holiday. With heartfelt appreciation of the 1968 classic The New Possibility: John Fahey’s Guitar Soli Christmas Record, Lockwood has sweetly crafted eight songs, one for each night of Chanukah, to celebrate the dancing candlelight with his new, blues-inspired takes on the most beloved melodies of the holiday’s cannon. From the prayers for lighting the candles to the kids’ songs that are sung around the burning menorah, Lockwood paints the light through the darkness with his instrumental creations.
Halloween is not a Jewish holiday — in fact, though it may be an all-American tradition, it has pagan and Christian roots. Still, there’s a surprising variety of Halloween-themed movies that have significant (though varying) degrees of Jewish influence. From classic Halloween flicks to horror movies with Jewish themes, here’s a comprehensive list of Jewish (and Jew-ish) Halloween movies to watch — including films that work for the entire family as well as those that are best for after the kids have gone to bed.
Looking for a fun and rewarding place to work…. Look no further!

Jewish Senior Life is hiring servers for the Dining Rooms on the West Bloomfield Campus!

Flexible schedules and great hours!

Great opportunities for teens after school!

If interested, please call or email
Jodi Panter 248-592-1104 or jpanter@jslmi.org
Tomato Basil Cod Tray Bake

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or 2 cubes Gefen Frozen Garlic
1 small tin anchovies, finely chopped
1 (500-gram) carton passata (or tomato puree)
9 small cod fillets
good handful of fresh basil
good handful of Gefen Olives

1) Add all the ingredients into a tray in the order they appear. Cover tray with foil and cook in a preheated oven on 210 degrees Celsius (410 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 minutes.
2) Season individual servings with salt, pepper and olive oil.

This recipe is from kosher.com
Rabbi Dovid S. Polter, JSL Community Chaplain
Lesson of Baseball in Life

In baseball, each team has fans and supporters who cheer them on to victory. When a team loses a game, the fans are naturally disappointed. A series of defeats will likely frustrate them even more, and they could lose interest, switching their allegiance to another team. The players themselves, however, will persevere. The loyalty they feel to their team is more enduring and will withstand the letdown of defeat.

This idea is relevant to the study of the human personality and how we deal with frustration and adversity. There is a personality like that of the team fan. When confronted with adversity, this character type will generally attempt to avoid it, often behaving in an undisciplined and inconsistent manner. He will often change his course of action to escape from whatever causes him frustration and dissatisfaction.

By contrast, another personality type exists, like that of the player. Regardless of what happens in his life, he will persevere and put forth his best efforts to make things work out. Such individuals regard everything that occurs to them as part of a constellation of events designed for their betterment.

It goes without saying that the latter style is indicative of a well-integrated person capable of meeting adversity head on. His ability to maximize the gain from all situations, even those fraught with difficulty, lies in the recognition that they too are replete with opportunities for character development and refinement. These challenges, when viewed as opportunities, will serve to elevate the individual.

Shabbat Shalom by Phone - Enjoy some inspiration
Dial Toll free: 605-313-4107 Access code: 270368#
(Reference number not needed)
Dial # to hear the most recent recorded message.
Rabbi Dovid S. Polter Jewish Community Chaplaincy Program Jewish Senior Life
248-592-5039 • dpolter@jslmi.org
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This newsletter was created by Jo Rosen and Amanda Martlock

We’re human, prone to mistakes, so if we erred in our newsletter, please forgive us!
Shabbat Shalom
Nancy Heinrich, Chief Executive Officer
Jennie Klepinger, Chief Financial Officer
Barbra Giles, Executive Director, Strategic Initiatives
Jo Strausz Rosen, Executive Director, Development
Dianne Azzopardi, Executive Director, Human Resources
Ron Colasanti, Executive Director, Dining Services
People of all faiths and beliefs are welcome.
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