Past Questions

Below are a list of previous diary prompts. Each month, research participants would receive an email alerting them that a new monthly diary prompt was available for their response. They had the option to respond via text, audio recording, video recording, and/or photograph.

Submissions for previous prompts are allowed. Simply click "Submit a Response" below to submit your entry.

Mental & Emotional Health


Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, what actions have you taken to promote your own mental and emotional health? What approaches have been particularly helpful for you? What actions have you taken to help promote the mental/emotional health of others who are important to you?

As pandemic restrictions loosen and vaccinations become more widely available, what is something you are able to do now (that perhaps you couldn’t do earlier in the pandemic) that brings you joy and contributes to your mental well-being?

Social & Political Events


There have been a number of other remarkable social and political events occurring in the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Movement for Black Lives/BLM, the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in January 2021, and the 2020 election. How have you made decisions about engaging in the world in relation to these events during the pandemic? How have these events impacted your life and your ability to stay strong and resilient? How have the ways you coped changed or become easier or more difficult during this period in time?

The Natural World


What has your time in nature looked like during the pandemic (since early March 2020)? Do you have a favorite place to visit that provides you with a sense of peace, satisfaction, happiness, etc.? Please consider sharing a photo, video, or audio clip representing this place in nature. (You may upload it directly or include a web link in your text response.)

Some people find comfort in the companionship of pets or in the observation of animals in the natural world. How have animals helped you cope during this time? (If you have a pet who has provided you with comfort and enjoyment, please consider sharing a photo, audio recording, or video of your pet here.)

Hobbies & New Skills


Have you engaged in any hobbies or learned new skills as a means of coping with the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, tell us about what this activity looked like for you.

What new outlets have you found that have helped you cope or worked as a meaningful distraction during the pandemic? Describe any new relationships and connections that you may have formed as a result of these activities.

Please consider sharing a photo, video, or audio clip related to new hobbies, skills or outlets.  (You may upload it directly or include a web link in your text response.)

Arts & Culture


Some people enjoy creating, appreciating, or engaging with arts and cultural activities (music, dance, writing, poetry, painting, street art, cultural celebrations, etc.) to deal with difficult times. Describe how arts and culture may have been helpful to you during the COVID-19 pandemic. Are there specific creative activities, works of art, cultural activities, poems/writing, or pieces of music that you have found particularly inspiring, helpful, and/or powerful for this moment in time?

Please consider sharing a photo, video, or audio clip of important inspirations from arts & culture. (You may upload it directly or include a web link in your text response.)

Spirituality & Religion


Are you a spiritual or religious person? If so, how has your spirituality or religion helped you during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Some people find it helpful to develop a personal mantra, prayer, or saying to stay positive, believe in themselves, and build personal strength (like the Little Engine That Could, saying “I think I can, I think I can.”) Are there personal mantras, prayers, or sayings that you have used to help you persist during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Social & Emotional Connections


Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (early March 2020), at any point in time have you engaged in social distancing and/or pandemic hygiene (e.g., following stay-at-home guidelines; wearing face masks in public settings; maintaining 6 feet distance between yourself and people not from your household; not attending large group gatherings)? If so, what strategies have you used to promote social and emotional connections to friends, family, and community while staying physically distant? In what ways have your relationships evolved, matured, or strengthened during this time?

If you are looking for dating opportunities, how have you sought out and nurtured those connections?



In what ways has your identity as an LGBTQIA+ person shaped your ability to persist during the COVID-19 pandemic? What other aspects of your identity (e.g., your cultural heritage, your age, your dis/ability status, etc.) have influenced your ability to cope during this pandemic?



Have you faced any significant health challenges or disability/ies during the COVID-19 pandemic? Describe. If you faced challenges, what strategies are you using to cope with these challenges on a daily basis? How do you promote health for yourself?



Many people are facing significant changes or loss during the pandemic - such as loss of a job, changes in job duties, illness or death of a loved one, loss of income, and difficulty getting food or housing. How are you dealing with unexpected changes in your life and finding creative ways to persist and adapt during the pandemic? Are there ways in which people in your communities are coming together and offering support to one another to deal with the changes brought about by the pandemic? What resources (e.g. mutual aid groups) have been useful for you?

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (early March 2020), have you been responsible for caring for someone else (e.g., an older parent, someone with a disability, a child)? If so, how have you adapted your life to manage caregiving demands during this time?



Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (early March 2020), what is something that has given you hope for the future?