201: Deconstructing & Implementing Self-Care


“Self-care is all about coming back to a place of wholeness.”- Nick Onken

Hey, guys! Welcome back to ONKEN RADIO (previously NION Radio). In this podcast, we explore the body, mind, and soul of the creative entrepreneur. It’s my goal to help you take your creativity, business, and life to the next level. I’m so glad you’re joining me on this journey!

Self-care is a practice that can be so elusive, especially in the face of modern-day pressures and demands. It’s easy to feel like there’s never enough time or energy for self-care. But what does self-care mean, and why is it so important? What would happen if you practiced some small acts of self-care every day?

In this week’s episode of ONKEN Radio, I want to share the path I’ve taken along my spiritual journey to discovering self-care. I’ll also share with you guys some hacks and a few products that can help you practice self-care in your life every day. This is an essential episode for us as creatives, so we can be reminded that it is so important to do things for ourselves, too.

If you want to make your impact on the world more sustainable and bring a higher level of energy to your endeavors, then this episode is for you. Let’s get started!

Overcoming A Difficult Time

I want to start out by telling you about a difficult time I had a few years ago. It was the moment that my business was in decline, and I just came from a break-up. This situation sent me into a downward spiral of my own questioning of existence.

During this dark night of the soul, I couldn’t find the motivation to do anything. I even found myself asking, “What’s the point and the meaning of all of this?” Being in this dark moment of my life, I ended up doing 5-Methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5 MeO DMT) through that time, which, while outstanding, also pushed me into a deeper hole. I didn’t know how to integrate the experience of a spiritual world brought by the 5 MEO DMT with this challenging part of my life.

But somehow, I knew that taking one step forward, even if it didn’t feel like there was progress, was actually the thing that I needed to do. A few months later, I discovered breathwork. It was the integration that I needed to make sense of the whole other spiritual side of the world. I realized that I needed to implement the lessons that I’ve learned and integrate them into everyday living.

It was an extensive breakdown of my ego. From that experience, I realized how my self-worth was implanted into the external validation of my relationship, my business, and other things. I even asked myself, “When those things go away, or they crumble, who am I without them?” These accumulated feelings of emptiness and wanting to be healed were why I was in this situation first and foremost.

I integrated plant medicine and breathwork for a few months. I discovered that it was the self-care that I needed to nurse myself back to wholeness.

Deconstructing Self-Care

I believe that we are always shapeshifting our identity, whether it’s for an outward expression of our personal brand or it’s just our own personal journeys. This is what my process of identity alchemy is about, and it is composed of a three-step process of deconstruction, curation, and becoming.

Looking back at the experience after I had my first big photo job, the process of deconstruction is always the hardest one. It involves looking at the events in our life where we feel like we aren’t where we’re supposed to be. This is a process that can be highly unpleasant. However, it also allows us to identify our shadows and shed them slowly. It is such a massive piece of understanding who we are to curate who we want to become.

This process of curating who we want to become involves the concept of self-care. The present identities we have are formed by our own narratives, thought systems, beliefs, and constructs in the past. They aren’t all good, but we have a choice. We can choose to reshape our identity or be victims of the identity we grew up with. By allowing ourselves to experience self-care, we let ourselves heal and be the person we always wanted to be.

We all heal differently, and self-care is unique for each individual. For me, some of these were breathwork, plant medicine, and psilocybin journeys. Discover what works for you so you can eventually reach the ultimate goal of identity alchemy — becoming.

Self-Care Tips To Try Today

Ultimately, self-care is all about coming back to a space of wholeness and feeling good. However, it can be complicated because we are in the prisons of our own minds, our worlds, and sometimes, our traumas. Thus, many suggest trying therapy as it allows you to engage in deep work of discovering, breaking down, and eventually healing your trauma. I also did therapy for a while, and it was nothing but beneficial for me in creating my own heaven in this world.

Other things that I would suggest for everyone to try are the following:

#1: Curate Your Community

Who you spend the most time with is your most significant influence. Therefore, when we’re spending our time with big thinkers and taking care of themselves and their creativity, we become like them. 

This practice can also extend to your Instagram feed. Curate who you are following and the information you are taking in. Ask yourself these questions, “Are you taking in content that is beneficial to your mental health?” or “Are you following people that you’re comparing yourself to?” Think about all these different things and make a choice to choose only that energy that heals you.

#2: Work On Your Mindset

I believe that we live in these earth suits, and it’s our job to maintain them and make them operate at the highest capacity. A part of this suit is the mental space — our mental health and mindset.

How we take care of our mindset manifests in the way we move through life’s obstacles and achieve our desires. It’s the key that allows us to set perspectives, get off our feet to work towards our goals, and ultimately, practice self-care. 

Most importantly, our mindset helps increase awareness, whether in ourselves or other people. When we create new awareness, we reach a higher state of consciousness, point of view, and perception of the world and our lives. 

Personally, this step has also been helpful for me. Over the last few years, I’ve consistently been working on seeing things from a different perspective. It has allowed me to zoom out and see a bigger picture while also connecting to the source and the universe.

#3: Other Practical Pieces Of Self-Care

Here are other tips I suggest everyone try:

  • Optimized and Balanced Sleep

Have you ever experienced not getting enough sleep and feeling that your mental health is going down the drain? For me, when I don’t get enough sleep, all I can think about is sleeping in my bed, and my thoughts in life start a downward spiral. In effect, it changes my emotional frequency and the other aspects of my life.

So for me, one of the biggest game-changers in my sleep has been the Ooler pad. The Ooler pad by Chilisleep is a pad that goes on your bed and runs cooled water through these little pipes in the mattress. It cools your core temperature and signals your body to go to sleep. 

Another piece is NuCalm, a technology that optimizes your sleep. It has this little biosignal disc that goes on your left wrist acupuncture point. Then you wear an eye mask and play sonic frequency embedded in music from their app. It’s like a more complex version of binaural beats, but it drops your body into the deep theta state. This state allows your mind and body to get the rest and restoration it needs.

I also stopped drinking because I feel like I can’t waste a day being hungover with all the creative entrepreneurial projects I’ve been into.

Lastly are Epsom salt baths. The magnesium that soaks into your skin through the bath can help your body have a beautiful sleep. These baths can be so relaxing and rejuvenating, especially after a long bike ride.

  • Better Morning Routine

Another big staple of self-care for me has been my morning routine. I start with Vedic meditation, a mantra-based meditation. It’s excellent for busy people because it only requires the repetition of mantras. It de-stresses the body, particularly when you’ve just had a terrible dream or woken up feeling negative. It allows me to shift my emotional frequency by dumping my thoughts, stress, and other mind trash.

Then I move into my gratitude practice. I think of things that I’m grateful for, even if it’s just my own breath. I do a little breathwork and then a little Kundalini balancing, which has also been hugely helpful. Then I start setting magical intentions by asking the universe to show me more magic than I can ever imagine. This practice helps set the tone for the day. 

Lastly, I do 20 minute HIIT workouts. I combine it with five minutes of yoga and then three sets of push ups or burpees. They boost my metabolism so that I’m burning more calories during the day. Sometimes I’ll mix it up and I’ll throw in the VR boxing session. That makes it a good and fun workout, so I recommend checking those out. 

  • Take Supplements

I like trying new things, and that includes my supplements. I have my morning elixir called Organifi, which helps me during the day. If I feel like my cortisol levels are high or feeling stressed out, this balances everything out.

During this health crisis, I also appreciated the importance of Vitamin D. Vit D is super important for many different functions in the body, such as healthy bones and maintaining your immune system. I get my Vit D from the sun, but if I don’t have time to go outside, then I take a supplement.

Other supplements I take are Vitamin C, matcha, and mushroom. Vitamin C is also something that I use for maintenance because it helps me feel balanced. Additionally, matcha has been used for centuries to help people’s mental clarity. I’ve noticed that when I drink it regularly, there’s an awareness component that starts happening. It helps me feel more spiritually connected with myself, so it’s like meditation, too. Together with mushrooms, these two are believed to have a long list of benefits, including boosting the immune system, aiding in weight loss, and fighting cancer.

  • Drink Lots of Water

Water is the simplest but the most important thing you can do for yourself. I try to drink a glass of water every morning when I wake up, which sets the day and makes my skin look more radiant. It’s also important because it helps flush toxins out of our systems.

However, there’s so much garbage in water that it’s important to filter them. I use AquaTru to filter my water because it’s a natural way to remove toxins without using chemicals. I feel better about drinking the filtered water and not worrying about all those nasty things going on in me.

  • Try Intermittent Fasting and Protein Shakes

There may be those who doubt the benefits of intermittent fasting, but I have seen some tremendous changes in my body, and I’m sure it helps with weight loss. Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between eating low-calorie food to periods of not eating anything at all (fasting).

What I usually do after the fasting period is consume protein shakes. One of my favorite ingredients is Glo Vegan Protein, a plant-based protein powder that I can feel good about using.

The way to self-care is really different from person to person, but what’s important is doing it for yourself. Do whatever you can in your own time frame and at your pace, as long as it makes you feel better! If you’re feeling stressed out, take a break. If you’re feeling overworked, prioritize yourself. It’s always essential to be good to yourself.

Lastly, there’s no single tip to alchemize your well-being. If combining two or more of the things I mentioned can make them more potent than before, then by all means, take advantage of that.

Self-Care To Alchemize Your Life

Guys, I hope that you found this episode insightful. Again, we can become more productive by taking care of ourselves — our mental health, physical health, and our soul health — and doing things for ourselves. When we do something for ourselves, we can be more impactful in the world and make a more significant imprint. We can help people, sustain them, and bring a higher level of energy to the world.

With that being said, I define Identity Alchemy as the process of deconstructing who you don’t want to be to create who you want to become.

Through it, you’ll be able to identify your shadows and shed them slowly. I believe that the deconstruction process of life and your inner world is a massive part of understanding who you are. It allows you to curate everything you need to become the person you want to become. In general, I noticed that the more inner work I do — the more profound shadow work I do to understand myself — the better life becomes, and the closer I feel to wholeness.

Self-care is a powerful concept that many people are excited about, but not everyone knows how to do well or even where to start. But in reality, good self-care depends on the individual and their unique needs and desires. This can be anything from going out with friends to taking a bath or being thankful every day. It is an essential piece of becoming more whole and achieving the identity you’ve always wanted.

Thank you so much for checking out today’s episode! If you enjoyed it as much as I did, make sure to share it on Instagram and tag me @nickonken. Also, my creative outlet is making hats, and people are buying them, which has been really exciting. Check them all out at my Instagram page: @onkenhat. Lastly, please leave me a five-star review on Apple Podcasts, so we can stay in touch with more Creative Alchemists like yourself!

Remember, the world needs us to bring higher frequency, especially now. The way to raise your frequency is to take care of yourself and dive into your own world!

Until next time —

Nick Onken


You can Subscribe and Listen to the Podcast on Apple Podcasts. And please leave me a Rating and Review!


“Self-care is all about coming back to a place of wholeness.”- Nick Onken

Some things we learn in this podcast:

  • How to overcome a difficult time [5:00]
  • Ways to improve your quality of life [8:45]
  • What does self-care look like [9:00]
  • What makes people successful [11:40]
  • How to sleep better [13:30]
  • What is a healthy sleep routine [16:00]
  • What are the benefits of magnesium salt baths [16:30]
  • What does an Epsom salt bath do [17:00]
  • Who is Vedic meditation meant for [17:25]
  • What does a healthy morning routine look like [18:00]
  • What are the benefits of HIT [19:00]
  • Is matcha tea good for you [21:30]

Personal Development Deconstruction and Spiritual Practice

  • Breathwork
  • Plant medicine
  • Therapy
  • Curated community
  • Energy healing

Sleep Optimization

Morning Routine

  • Mantra based meditation: Stress dump
  • Gratitude
  • Magical intentions
  • 20 minutes of HIT workout: higher metabolism boost in the morning. More concentrated workout. 5 minutes of yoga. VR boxing.



Intermittent Fasting and Protein Smoothie Bowl

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  • Build your personal brand vision and crystallize it with a photoshoot
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  • .. PLUS! You’ll get access my brand building book recs and favorite resources

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