N.B. woman downsizes into tiny home off the grid during coronavirus pandemic

Click to play video: 'Maritime women downsizing her life during COVID-19' Maritime women downsizing her life during COVID-19
WATCH: As people adjust to the new normal, a Maritime woman, who chose to downsize her life, shares a message: try to take things slowly. Shelley Steeves reports. – Jun 26, 2020

Life is slowly returning to normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic as businesses start opening up and bubbles start forming across the country, but a New Brunswick woman who chose to downsize her life during the pandemic has a message for people returning to the faster pace.

“Take time for nature and animals and each other,” says Sarah Nesbitt, who is now living off the grid in a tiny home still under construction in the woods of Steeves Mountain, N.B.

Read more: Travel bubble coming to Atlantic Canada July 3

Nesbitt moved to the 12-by-26-foot storage shed she is turning into a tiny home in mid-June.

“I just wanted to slow her down and be a little simpler,” says Nesbitt.

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She started turning away from social norms and making changes in her lifestyle to pursue a life with fewer possessions about three years ago, Nesbitt says.

“Bigger and better jobs and making more money, spending more money, go, go, go, rush, rush, rush,” she says.

Read more: High house costs have some Canadians considering tiny homes, but not all cities on board

The one time “go, go, go” radio personality has turned down the volume on life, and she says it’s brought her the peace her heart has always longed for. Nesbitt says she has suffered from burnout and depression for most of her life.

“I just really wanted to work on rewiring my brain so that I wasn’t consumed by the depression,” Nesbitt says.

The journey brought her back to her roots. Nesbitt is now working as a horse handler at Spring Brook Stables in Steeves Mountain, just like she did as a child back on her grandmother’s horse ranch.

“There is so much stress and worries in the world that it is just nice to get away from it, and I think that Sarah has found her niche that makes her happy,” Michelle Bourque, who owns the stables, says.

Nesbitt says she knew she was on the right path when she found and purchased the last horse born on her grandmother’s farm, Annie.

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“My grandmother has passed away now, so it is pretty cool that Annie and I are back together now,” she says.

Reconnecting with the horses has been like therapy, she says.

“I used to be the kind of person that always needed people around, and now I enjoy the silence,” Nesbitt says.

As life slowly returns to a new normal amid the pandemic, she is encouraging people to slow down every once in a while and remember what it feels like to embrace a simpler life, which she says has its rewards.

“Most people take these opportunities as vacations, and I am just building a life that I don’t need a vacation from,” she says.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness.

People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities. To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve.

They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

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