Are You Suffering From FONDA? We Have Two Very Different Opinions

"Move over FOMO, here comes FONDA"

FONDA, a new term by journalist and presenter Susannah Reid has got us talking in STELLAR today.

The acronym she describes as the “fear of not doing anything” has become the lockdown version of FOMO, the “fear of missing out”. Making people feel like they should and could be doing more with their time in quarantine.

“Are you feeling the pressure to get fit/learn new skills in lockdown? Or are you (like me) struggling just to clean the kitchen?” Susanne asked on Instagram.

We here in STELLAR answered the question, but we’ve got two very different opinions.

NO – Vicki Notaro, editor in chief 

I’m not experiencing fear of not doing anything, possibly because not doing anything is one of my favourite hobbies at the best of times. I have a very busy job, pretty busy social life and I’m naturally profoundly lazy, so when the opportunity arises to sit on my arse all day, I will take it. That day is usually called Saturday.

However, things are obviously quite different now. For the past three weeks, I’ve been adapting STELLAR alongside our wonderful team so that the magazine we bring you is relevant to the times we find ourselves in, without being consumed by it. I’m lucky that every day I have a mission, something to get out of bed for. It hasn’t been easy and there have been days I’ve despaired, but sending our May issue to press this week made it all worth it. I hope it will bring you some comfort and a few laughs when it lands next week.

However now that’s done, things will be quiet for a fortnignt. No cover shoot, no fashion shoot, no meetings, no events. I know how lucky I am to still actually have a job, and that others are out of work with no clue when they’ll be back on a payroll. But when I see people panicking about being bored on social media, it’s usually those who already have quite full lives and can’t just relax and enjoy any downtime. Those who aren’t in a meaningful relationship with their couch and Sky box.

I’ve always been grateful that I’m not somebody that feels the need to be on the go all the time, filling every waking hour with activity. Thus, even though my quarantine buddy is working his usual 50+ hour week and I’m at more of a loose end than normal, I’m not learning a language, scrubbing floors, or even starting that novel I’ve been banging on about for a decade now that I “have time”.

Because I just know that now is not the time. It’s the most unusual, frightening and mystifying time in living memory, with no concrete end in sight. We’re afraid, we’re stressed, we’re worried – so why on earth should we put extra pressure on ourselves to be extra productive during all this? Some people require structure, and I get that; in fact I am one of them, in that I respond well to an office environment and working hours. But nothing right now is normal, and we simply must adapt and adjust in order to get through it.

Of course I get bored and restless, but I think I’ve accepted what’s going on (at least somewhat, the rest is denial) and I’m learning to be content with the little things. Walking my dogs, doing the odd jog, catching up on old episodes of Catfish, cooking and eating, playing board games and playing with makeup for no reason other than I love it. Oh and of course, drinking wine and having a weekly Friday night cocktail hour (would recommend to a friend).

I think after all of this, we’ll all be taking things more slowly. When I think of how my April was meant to look, I actually feel anxious – I have no idea how I was meant to fit everything I had planned in. So for now I’m going to try and somewhat revel in this enforced slowness, mostly because I hope it won’t ever happen again.

YES – Denise Curtin, digital editor 

I’m most certainly experiencing fear of not doing anything and for once, unlike FOMO which has me missing out on drinking with the girls and similar activities, FONDA is giving me a motivational kick up the ass. The fear of not doing anything has me taking inspiration from others to do things that are actually beneficial for my mind and body.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve found myself running more, baking more and spending more time planning activities with my housemates (who happen to be my best friends). We’re having conversations about the next online exercise class we will do and the next gymnastics routine we want to “attempt”  to learn in the back garden. To be honest, I’ve never been more active or more encouraged to be active and it has made me feel like a kid again.

I think part of my newfound hectic routine certainly plays into the fact that times at the moment are very strange. What we’re experiencing is scary and timelines are uncertain so, keeping busy definitely keeps my mind preoccupied. But aside from that, I want to look back on this time and know I utilised it well.

I was extremely fortunate to start a new job from quarantine. Working as the new digital editor of, I’m very aware that getting a new job in this current climate is extremely rare and for that, I’m beyond grateful. With so many people uncertain as to when they’ll be working again, I’m not taking anything for granted

I want this time to hold a special place in my heart. A time when I started a new job from a situation I never imagined, a time when I took care of my body and fed it well. A time when I read at night when usually I’d be prancing around town spending money on notiony drinks. However, don’t get me wrong, I’m not exercising like a lunatic from sunrise to sunset. I’m still having my much needed chill time, watching Disney+ religiously, drinking wine and binging on Netflix but, I’m certainly being more consistent with my self-love and self-care than ever before.

The things that would usually distract me are just not there anymore. Restaurants in town I want to try, nights out that I want to go on, trips that I thought I’d be taking. FOMO has well and truly vanished and FONDA, the more encouraging and empowering sister has appeared and she’s forcing me to not sit and dwell about the outside world I cannot control.

Instead, she’s encouraging me to improve and focus on the things I can. My job, my hobbies and my body.

So, if you’ve just posted a stun recipe on Instagram or have an online class that you think I should take, hit me up. I’m loving this encouraging community we’ve created online recently. It’s become more attainable and everyone just wants the same result for everyone else – to feel happy and entertained.

Have your say – tweet us @stellarmagazine.