Preparing for winter - tips and tricks?

Well, summer, such as it was, is heading out in the UK and I am on the whole sorry to see it go. My garden got in a bit of a state as this year the Simponi stopped working, as I have struggled to walk, let alone try and work in the garden (much to fastidious neighbour's irritation...but that's a discussion for another thread maybe). So my harvest isn't all that brilliant, but I'll manage.

I just saw my specialist yesterday and I'm going to be given etanercept to try - I hope it works, the past few months have been very difficult and I only just managed to get through it. However I know from experience winter is the worst part of the year for me. It's cold, it's dark, and I have no energy. Most of the time I just hibernate and try to find something to do (last year it was knitting, this year I can't even hold the needles due to pain). I'm starting to get a bit worried I'm going to be bored out of my skull from October to February - and the Dutchman, while he's amazing and does all he can for me, can't always be here to help, so I'm going to be raising my son and trying to tend myself and my house on my own with very limited function. I live in a very rural area and there's no one to help, I have a car but of late I can't even walk out to the parking lot to drive it and I only drive if I absolutely have to.

I order all my shopping online to conserve energy. I have a slow cooker I can bung food into in the morning, and it's ready later, and I tend to get lots of ready meals and quick snacks for when I don't feel like I can do much, or even when chewing is too much effort. I've got lots of warm socks, an electric blanket throw for my rising chair in the living room, and I do shift from one seat to another so I don't seize up. I'm going to try and do some yoga again too though I can't do much - I have to vary the poses for how much function I have that day.

I'm all for hoping the new meds work really well, but in past experience, even with really good medication, winter is a challenge for me. Does anyone else struggle through the colder months? What are your coping mechanisms?

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