The Redesigning Wellness Podcast

247: Grieving In and Out of the Workplace with Ilana Yahdav, MPA, and Kim Hanlon, MA

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Ilana and Kim

Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or a change in a familiar pattern of behavior. Using that definition, chances are that you have recently grieved for something or someone. With everything that has happened in the past two years and continues to happen, it’s about time we had a conversation about grief.

Podcast guests, Ilana Yahdav, MPA, and Kim Hanlon, MA, are Grief Advocates and Advanced Certified Grief Recovery Specialists. They co-founded Yahdav & Hanlon Grief Support out of a shared passion for offering individual grief support and enhancing corporate wellness programs to support employees around loss and life changes. 

In this episode, Ilana and Kim define grief, which you’ll be surprised to hear how all-encompassing it is. We talk about the very non-linear grieving process, how we judge ourselves and others for how we grieve, and how employers can address grief. Illana and Kim leave us with ways to support our own grief, including the recent Roe v Wade decision and what to do with all of the emotions that may be coming up from it.

Episode Highlights:
  • Grief is the normal and natural reaction to a loss of any kind (not just divorce and death). It is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or a change in a familiar pattern of behavior. Grief includes both positive and negative life events.
  • Unresolved grief is where we tend to get stuck in the painful feelings of grief and feeling like we can’t past our story (continually rehashing events).
  • There is no one-size-fits-all for processing grief. We all grieve differently and there is no wrong way to grieve. It’s not a linear process. Grief ebbs and flows and changes with time and seasons of life. 
  • We may not be able process grief at the time but building awareness and getting curious about what’s coming up for us is a good start.  
  • Ways to suspend judgement on your grief – eradicate the word “should” from our vocabulary and treat yourself like you would treat your best friend or your child. 
  • Ways to suspend judgement on other’s grief – be a heart with ears when you listen to others.
  • There are many layers to grief. Grief is emotional, not intellectual. 
  • Dealing with grief in the workplace – build awareness of all that falls into grief experiences, get curious especially if noticing certain behaviors, and when addressing employees, be empathetic.
  • When there is a larger scale organizational change acknowledge the change, ensure adequate communication, offer a forum where employees can be heard and acknowledged, and provide external resources. 
  • For people grieving for the overturn of Roe v Wade – your grief and pain are valid and normal, try not to “should” yourself, write/talk it out of asking why you’re upset/what’s bothering you (to get down to the bottom of what you’re feeling) and if needed, get support.  
Links Mentioned:

www.yahdavhanlon.com

Emotional Inventory

WELCOA Summit

Full Bio:

Ilana Shapiro Yahdav, MPA, and Kim English Hanlon, MA, are Grief Advocates and Advanced Certified Grief Recovery Specialists, fueled by their own personal loss experiences. They co-founded Yahdav & Hanlon Grief Support out of a shared passion for offering individual grief support and enhancing corporate wellness programs to support employees around loss and life changes. Their tools and programs help increase productivity, emotional resilience, retention, and engagement both in the workplace and in one’s personal life. 

Ilana and Kim take what can be a very difficult topic and through gentleness, humor, and vulnerability, make it accessible for all. They have worked with corporations, higher education institutions, law firms, and individuals; and have recently consulted on a film about suicide loss to bring insight, tools and support to process the difficult themes throughout the film.

With the belief that it is important to meet grievers exactly where they are, Ilana and Kim continue to create new ways to engage and support them, from workbooks to online courses and workshops. They are the authors of the digital workbook: Grief & Gratitude: Building Your Coping Action Plan, with the goal of having it in print by the end of 2022.

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