SC Johnson College staff learn to prepare healthy foods at a holistic wellness fair.

January 22, 2019

Knitting, Massages and Dogs: Johnson Well-Being Fair Gives Staff a Space to Relax

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From improving cooking skills to learning how to knit, about 200 Cornell staff in the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business participated in a series of wellness workshops over the break to practice self-care.

The “Well-Being Fair,” hosted by the SC Johnson College, aimed to extend the definition of “wellness” beyond physical well-being. The fair centered around seven dimensions of well-being: financial, occupational, relationship, physical, mental, cultural and environmental wellness.

A “knife skills” workshop focused on healthy eating by teaching participants how to properly cut vegetables, following the idea that getting comfortable with food preparation would make people more likely to cook healthy foods. Another workshop focused on knitting as well as other activities including massage therapists and therapy dogs.

The fair also educated staff on little-known resources available to staff at Cornell, such as access to and the ability to check out library books.

Cynthia Saunders-Cheatham, assistant dean of the Career Management Center, said that learning about financial well-being at the fair prompted her to alter her retirement plans. She hopes that the well-being fair will continue to happen in future years.

“It was really a great time to learn [about well-being],” Saunders-Cheatham told The Sun.

According to Kelly Crispell, a corporate account manager and fair planning committee member, the initial idea for organizing the fair came up in the fall semester. Within a couple of months, the committee brought the idea to fruition and organized the fair. Holding the fair during winter break meant that staff were less likely to be busy than they normally are during the semester, Crispell said.

These interactive activities were designed to allow staff to decompress from work and give staff different ways to engage with aspects of well-being, Crispell said.

The fair also served as an opportunity for staff to connect with each other and socialize, according to planning committee member Annemarie Morse, manager of the Student Learning Center.

“Everyone that works here works really hard and tries to do the best they can in their role, but we also want to make sure that they’re having fun and getting away from their desk when they can,” Crispell told The Sun.