Dr Ranj's 5 top tips for a healthy brain

Published on: 21 February 2022

Dr Ranj might be an author, TV presenter, AND super-cool NHS doctor - but even he needs to give his brain a rest sometimes! Here are some of his tips for keeping your mind healthy.

What did you love most about books when growing up?

Giving a child the opportunity to get lost in the author’s imagination, and inspiring their own imagination, is such a wonderful thing. Books felt like a little bit of magic to me when I was growing up. If those books also inspire children to then dream and become who they want to be or do better, then that’s amazing.

How and where do you write?

I’ve tried everything: at my desk, ‘on the go’ on trains and planes as I’m travelling to/from work, on country retreats where I’ve locked myself away.  In the end, I did most of my writing in my kitchen! For me, I need to get my brain in the right zone to be able to sit and write properly, but when it happens I get such an awesome sense of satisfaction that any stress is worth it. 

You seem to always have a lot of projects on the ‘go’, as well as working as a hospital doctor. How do you fit it all in?

I work all the time! I like to make the most out of every opportunity, and if I’m going to do something then I make sure I do it to the best of my ability. That can make life quite busy sometimes. So now and again I have to tell myself to slow down and not say ‘yes’ to everything as it can become too much. A few years ago I burned out and had to actively take a step back from a lot of things. Whilst this was difficult to admit to myself at the time, I realise how important that was now and it’s taught me a lot about pacing myself and looking after ‘me’.

Top Five Tips to Keep Your Brain Healthy from Dr Ranj Singh  

1. Get a good night’s sleep.

Sleep is when our bodies and our brains recover – it is when our brains sort out information that we have taken in during the day, it is also when they make memories, clear up waste products and helps us better prepare ourselves for the challenges of everyday.

2. Get outside and get active.

This is an interesting one as exercise and physical activity aren’t just good for our bodies, they are also good for our mental health and brains. Exercise makes our bodies produce happy hormones which are chemicals that make us feel good. When our bodies are healthier, we naturally feel better and can do more of the things we enjoy.

3. Feed your mind.

Just like our bodies need food to give us energy and nutrients so do our brains! Eating lots of different things of different colours and making sure you drink plenty of fluids as well will help to keep your brain ticking over and your mind working better.

4. Speak up.

If you’re struggling with anything, feeling down or worried about something then find a grown up that you can speak to about it. This could be a parent, a teacher or another professional like a school nurse.

5. Look out for each other.

Being kind to one another not only helps us to feel good about ourselves but is actually beneficial for our mental health – so be sociable and be friendly make an effort with people who might be feeling lonely or may feel left out. Look out for your friends too, in case they are having a difficult time. 

Follow Dr Ranj on Twitter.

Brain Power by Dr Ranj Singh is available now and is published by Wren and Rook. 

Tips and advice

Get useful tips and advice about how to read as a family, setting up a great bedtime routine, and how to encourage reading in your school.

Have a look