Surviving Christmas

CHRISTMAS can be one of the most stressful times for families, so much so that January and February are record months for couples contacting solicitors to seek a separation.

Life Coach and mindset expert Sonia Czernik said tensions mount at Christmas because family and relationships are under the spotlight.

“At other times of the year, couples can ignore the dysfunction, because kids are at school and at least one of the parents are at work,” said Ms Czernik.

“For many couples they’re actually leading quite separate lives, but at Christmas we can’t avoid each other and our extended families,” she said.

Sad christmas santa woman wrapping gifts depressed and bored wearing santa hat. Caucasian asian female model.

Sad christmas santa woman wrapping gifts depressed and bored wearing santa hat. Caucasian asian female model.

Old hurts

“Old hurts come up, there are arguments with in-laws and the stress of trying to create a perfect memory for your kids.

Ms Czernik says issues such as not feeling loved, heard, paid attention to, and so on can arise, resulting in couples playing the blame game.

“One common internal conflict that I see with clients is unmet expectations, leading to resentment and hurt.

She says managing expectations can come down to being careful about:

• making sure everyone’s extended family gets a visit;

• choosing a thoughtful gift. Vaccuum cleaners are out;

• sharing the workload of organising Christmas shopping, gift wrapping and cooking; and,

• spending quality time together rather than stewing over a wasted holiday.

Ms Czernik says no matter how bad relationships appear, they can be repaired without resorting to separation.

“By identifying the mindset or energetic patterns which gave rise to conflicts they can then be dissolved,” she says.

Ms Czernik has over 35 years experience in mindset management, which includes life coaching, counselling and hypnotherapy, and is offering workshops to help couples. To find out more information, head to

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