Meet Your Peeps Here

The Breakroom Bend

We know: Easter has passed. No PEEPS® have survived. But we’re talking about your peeps—the ones who keep you grounded and centered and sane. How often do you get to connect with them, face to face?

Remember the bad old days of March 2020, when everyone was grounded due to an unknown virus’s terribly bad behavior? By forcing us to stay home, the pandemic did a real number on our collective sense of community and, not surprisingly, our mental health. Rates of anxiety, depression and loneliness skyrocketed in conjunction with the shutdown because we are social animals, and we were missing our broods, our troops, our herds.

And we were not just imagining things: The 2023 U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on the healing effects of social connection and community declared we have an “epidemic” of loneliness and isolation. In fact, when Dr. Vivek Murthy, US Surgeon General, first took office in 2014, he says loneliness didn’t even cross his radar as a public health concern. But that was before he embarked on a cross-country listening tour, where he heard the same stories, again and again—that people felt isolated, invisible, and insignificant.

“Even when they couldn’t put their finger on the word ‘lonely,’ time and time again, people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, from every corner of the country, would tell me, ‘I have to shoulder all of life’s burdens by myself,’ or ‘If I disappear tomorrow, no one will even notice,’” Murthy described. It was a lightbulb moment for him: Social disconnection was far more common than he’d realized. And “loneliness” isn’t just a sad word used in sad love songs; it has real physical impact, producing greater incidences of heart disease, stroke, and dementia.

Today, in our peri-COVID world, we can move about more freely and yet…maybe we haven’t fully reconnected. Maybe we’re still wearing our masks, metaphorically speaking. But isn’t it time to take them down and join back up? This is a big reason why The Breakroom came to be: to provide a meeting place, a greeting place, a “let’s grab a cup and talk” place.

“The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention… A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.” –Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

When was the last time you just sat and listened? Or had someone just sit and listen to you?

Assemble your peeps and gather here at your community-centered Breakroom (NW11th & Newport Ave.)—we’ve got some chairs set aside for you, and the coffee and connection are always brewing.

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